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CORNELL 

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F  782L2  W33 
History  of  Larmer  County,  Cpjoradp.  Col 


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3   1924  028  878  936 


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HISTORY 


■OF- 


LARIMER  COUNTY 

COLORADO 


Collated  and  Compiled  from  Historical 

Authorities,  Public  Reports,  Official 

Records  and  Other  Reliable 

Sources— Stories  of  Indian 

Troubles  and  of  the 

Pioneer  Days 


By  ANSEL  WATROUS 


ILLUSTRATED 


The  Courier  Printing  ^  Publishing  Company 

Fort  Collins,  Colorado 

1911 


Copyrighted,  1911 

The  Courier  Printing  &  Publishing  Company 

Fort  Collins,  Colorado 


Preface 

/  hear  the  tread  of  Pioneers,  of  Nations  yet  to  be; 

The  first  low  wash  of  waves,  where  soon  shall  roll  a  human  sea. — Whittier. 

SOME  books,  it  is  said,  need  no  explanation.  This  one  does.  I  undertook  the  prepa- 
ration of  it  with  misgivings  concerning  my  ability  to  tell  the  story  of  the  rise  and 
progress  of  Larimer  County  as  it  should  be  told.  Now  that  it  is  done,  I  fain  would 
ask  the  indulgence  of  those  into  whose  hands  the  book  may  fall,  especially  the  critically 
disposed,  because  of  its  imperfections.  It  would  be  presumptuous  to  claim  that  a  book  cov- 
ering the  County  could  be  entirely  free  from  errors,  but  I  hope  it  will  serve  the  purpose  of 
preserving  for  the  use  of  some  future  historian  a  comparatively  correct  record  of  the 
events,  incidents  and  circumstances  of  the  early  days  in  this  portion  of  the  "Great  Ameri- 
can Desert."  I  can  assure  the  reader  that  much  care  has  been  taken  in  its  preparation 
and,  as  far  as  possible,  dates,  incidents  and  circumstances  have  been  obtained  from  public 
reports,  official  records  and  other  reliable  sources.  Until  a  few  months  ago  I  had  had  no 
thought  of  entering  upon  the  undertaking  myself,  but  had  long  harbored  the  hope  that 
some  one  would  take  up  the  task  of  collating  and  compiling  a  history  of  Larimer  County 
and  carry  it  to  completion.  I  knew  it  should  be  done  before  the  Pioneers,  those  who 
had  laid  the  foundations  broad  and  deep,  for  the  blessings  we  now  enjoy,  had  all  been 
numbered  with  those  who  have  passed  on  to  their  eternal  reward;  for  they  would  carry 
with  them  personal  recollections  of  events  and  incidents  that  reports  and  records  might 
be  searched  for  in  vain.  My  hopes  failed  of  realization.  No  one  came  forward  to  do  the 
work.  At  last  I  was  persuaded  to  undertake  the  task,  and  this  book  is  the  result.  Possi- 
bly it  contains  that  which  should  have  been  left  out,  and  omitted  things  that  should  have 
been  inserted.  There  is  nothing  perfect  in  this  world.  There  are  two  legitimate  ways  of 
writing  history.  One  is  to  make  a  plain,  simple  statement  of  facts;  the  other,  to  clothe 
the  statement  in  language  fitted  to  appeal  to  the  reader's  imagination.  I  have  endeav- 
ored to  combine  the  two.  I  have  conscientiously  tried  to  present  the  facts,  leaving,  at 
the  same  time,  plenty  of  room  for  the  play  of  the  imagination.  The  facts  have  been 
gathered  from  numerous  sources,  from  historical  works,  from  public  reports  and  official 
records,  from  old  magazines,  files  of  newspapers  and  from  personal  interviews  with  sur- 
viving Pioneers  or  members  of  the  families  of  those  who  have  passed  away.  The  illus- 
trations have  been  picked  up,  here  and  there,  wherever  a  picture  could  be  found  that  had 
a  bearing  on  the  conditions  of  the  early  days.  The  book  Is  written  for  the  people  of  Lari- 
mer County,  and  my  sole  desire  is  that  it  may  awaken  within  their  hearts  a  fresh  interest 
in  those  who  were  the  Pioneers  in  the  redemption  of  this  favored  portion  of  the  Great 
American  Desert.  If  I  have  succeeded  in  doing  that  and  shall  have  at  the  same  time 
preserved  the  facts  in  a  convenient  form  for  the  use  of  the  future  historian  of  the  County, 
my  labors  will  not  have  been  in  vain.  Let  him  who  next  writes  the  history  of  Larimer 
County  enlarge  upon  the  theme  and  clothe  the  facts  in  literary  raiment  of  enchanting 
beauty  and  indulge  in  philosophical  comments  to  his  heart's  content;  it  is  enough  for  me 
that  I  have  furnished  the  basis  for  him  to  build  upon. 


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Note  of  Acknowledgment 

IN  THE  preparation  of  this  volume  I  have  consulted  and  used  as 
authorities  Bancroft's  "History  of  Colorado";  Hall's  "History 
of  Colorado";  Coutant's  "History  of  Wyoming";  Dodge's 
"Plains  of  the  Great  West";  Fremont's  "Second  Expedition"; 
King's  "Handbook  of  the  United  States"  ;  Chittenden's  "History  of 
the  American  Fur  Trade";  Bowles'  "Across  the  Continent";  Rich- 
ardson's "Beyond  the  Mississippi";  Greeley's  "Overland  Journey"; 
Bird's  "Life  in  the  Rocky  Mountains";  Parrish's  "The  Great 
Plains";  Mills'  "Story  of  Estes  Park";  Captain  Drannan's  "Thirty- 
one  Years  on  the  Plains";  the  official  records  of  Larimer  County 
and  of  the  City  of  Fort  Collins;  the  files  of  the  Courier  and  Express 
of  Fort  Collins,  the  Reporter  of  Loveland,  and  the  Bulletin  of 
Berthoud.  I  am  also  under  obligations  to  Professors  L.  G.  Car- 
penter, James  W.  Lawrence,  and  W.  R.  Thomas  of  the  Colorado 
State  Agricultural  College;  to  Judge  Jefferson  McAnelly,  Emmet 
C.  McAnelly,  County  Surveyor,  and  Sheriff  C.  A.  Carlton,  as  well 
as  to  scores  of  Pioneers  and  early  settlers  for  favors  shown, 
valuable  information  furnished  and  assistance  rendered  in  compil- 
ing and  arranging  the  matter  herein  contained. 


A  Tribute  to  the  Author 

THE  publishers  of  this  volume  desire  to  make  an  acknowledgment  of  their  debt  to 
Mr.  Ansel  Watrous,  the  author  of  this  history,  not  only  for  the  untiring  and  pains- 
taking service  he  has  rendered  in  the  gathering,  compilation  and  writing  of  the 
book,  but  more  especially  to  act  as  the  voice  of  the  people  in  expressing  appreciation  of 
his  part  in  the  actual  making  of  history  in  Larimer  county.  This  volume  is  the  best  possi- 
ble monument  that  could  stand  as  a  mark  of  the  author's  years  of  usefulness  in  this  com- 
munity, and  we  feel  that  it  is  due  Mr.  Watrous  to  incorporate  in  the  record  something  that 
will  inform  posterity  concerning  the  part  he  played  in  making  Fort  Collins  what  the  city 
is  today. 

A  newspaper  editor,  if  of  strong  personality,  necessarily  becomes  more  than  a  mere 
recorder  of  events.  He  often  shapes  and  molds  the  destiny  of  a  community  by  his  edi- 
torial utterances.  It  is  in  this  respect  that  Mr.  Watrous  has  earned  the  gratitude  of  Fort 
Collins  and  Larimer  county.  As  may  be  read  in  the  very  brief  biographical  record 
which  he  would  allow  of  himself  in  these  pages,  he  was  the  founder  of  the  Courier,  and 
he  will  remain  the  editor  of  that  newspaper  as  long  as  he  is  able  to  push  the  pencil.  Paren- 
thetically, it  may  be  remarked  that,  in  spite  of  his  seventy-five  years — the  age  at  which  he 
completes  this  history — he  is  in  the  enjoyment  of  full  physical  and  mental  vigor,  with  a 
brain  that  acts  as  clearly  as  though  the  possessor  were  still  in  middle  age.  Looking  back 
over  the  files  of  the  Courier  one  finds  the  best  index  to  the  character  of  the  man  whose 
hand  has  guided  the  destinies  of  the  paper  for  more  than  thirty  years.  In  all  that  time, 
every  line  written  concerning  the  future  of  city  and  county  was  in  an  optimistic  tone.  There 
was  a  never  failing  fountain  of  hope  into  which  the  editor  dipped  his  pen.  He  has,  in 
his  own  life,  been  a  reflection  of  that  spirit,  for  the  years  have  rested  lightly  upon  him, 
and  he  has  lived  to  see  the  county  of  his  adoption  prosper  and  grow  fat.  He  saw  the  ox- 
team  go  out  and  the  automobile  come  in.  He  witnessed  the  transformation  from  desert 
to  garden;  saw  the  magnificent  trees  that  now  line  the  city's  broad  avenues  when  they 
were  but  tender  saplings.  He  knew  intimately  the  days  when  the  cowman  was  supreme ; 
he  saw  the  tiller  of  the  soil  supercede  the  cowman  and  he  made  his  newspaper  the  organ 
of  the  new  agriculture.  He  advocated  the  introduction  of  the  sugar  beet  and  witnessed 
the  birth  and  growth  of  that  now  stupendous  industry,  with  its  millions  of  investment. 
He  fought  for  a  town  of  commercial  and  moral  greatness.  Many  years  ago  he  took  up 
the  cudgel  for  morality  in  Fort  Collins.  He  fought  for  a  clean  town — and  fought  Is 
used  advisedly,  for  he  held  out  for  the  right  against  direct  threats  of  death  and  at- 
tempted destruction  of  his  newspaper  plant  by  dynamite.  He  seldom  speaks  of  his  own 
experiences,  but  those  of  the  older  generation  readily  recall  the  stormy  days  when  Ansel 
Watrous,  through  the  Courier,  conducted  the  first  campaign  for  better  moral  conditions 
In  Fort  Collins.  He  won  the  fight  and  laid  the  foundation  for  the  clean  city  of  today  by 
making  lawlessness  unpopular  and  by  enthroning  good  government.  And  that  course  he 
has  always  maintained,  preferring  always  to  stand  for  a  clean  city  and  never  taking 
stock  In  the  theory  that  a  dissolute  town  Is  essential  to  prosperity. 

He  has  been  a  consistent  prophet  of  greatness  for  Fort  Collins  and  has  always  held 
before  the  people  an  ideal  worth  striving  for.  It  is  good  to  note  that  the  prophecies 
which  he  has  made  are  now  being  fulfilled,  for  we  now  have  a  city  that  embodies  all  of 


the  advantages  of  a  metropolis,  and  each  of  Its  public  utilities  and  improvements  has 
materialized  only  after  the  idea  often  had  been  first  broached,  and  at  any  rate  always 
fostered  and  furthered  through  the  editorial  assistance  of  Mr.  Watrous. 

There  are  few  men  in  the  West  and  perhaps  none  other  in  the  State  of  Colorado, 
who  have  been  so  efficient  and  faithful  in  the  service  of  the  public  through  a  newspaper, 
and  none  anywhere  who  so  consistently  held  to  high  ideals  in  the  conduct  of  a  paper.  We 
are  certain  that  the  subject  of  this  tribute  does  not  himself  realize  what  a  force  he  has 
been  in  this  community.  That,  however,  Is  the  best  Indication  of  the  unselfish  character 
of  the  service  rendered.  He  has  labored  for  love  of  his  profession  and  not  in  the  hope 
of  financial  reward.  Had  he  been  less  occupied  with  the  affairs  of  the  community  at 
large,  he  might  have  taken  advantage  of  the  many  opportunities  that  have  offered 
themselves  during  his  long  residence  here,  for  acquiring  wealth.  He  does  not,  however, 
possess  the  business  instinct,  but  is  of  decidedly  literary  bent,  being  content,  when  not 
engaged  in  editorial  duties,  with  the  companionship  of  his  favorite  authors.  He  Is  ex- 
ceedingly well  read  and  the  possessor  of  a  remarkable  memory  for  events,  dates,  names, 
and  faces,  being  literally  an  encyclopedia  of  ever  ready  information  concerning  the  af- 
fairs of  Fort  Collins,  Larimer  county  and  Colorado,  as  well  as  of  the  nation  and  world 
at  large. 

He  and  Mrs.  Watrous  have  together  grown  to  a  beautiful  and  peaceful  age.  They 
have  no  children  of  their  own,  but  the  best  years  of  their  life  have  been  given  to  the  rear- 
ing of  the  children  of  others,  who  now  have  gone  out  Into  the  world.  They  live  alone,  yet 
not  as  old  people,  but  following  the  daily  routine  common  to  most  people  in  the  prime  of 
active  life.  And  this  activity  is  a  continuation  of  that  service  which  has  not  only 
recorded,  but  made  history.  Scores  of  political  campaigns,  dozens  of  crises  in  municipal, 
county  and  state  affairs,  tragedy,  disaster,  births,  deaths,  marriages,  drouth  and  flood, 
good  fortune  and  ill — in  short,  life  in  all  its  phases,  has  passed  in  review  before  the  editor, 
whose  pen  has  faithfully  chronicled  the  passing  of  these  things  and  drawn  from  them  for 
our  perusal  the  lessons  that  have  made  Fort  Collins  a  better  city  and  Larimer  a  greater 
county.  To  this  man,  whose  crowning  effort  is  now  put  forth  In  this  history,  all  honor! 
May  he  be  with  us  yet  many  a  year,  to  share  In  the  further  glory  of  industrial  achieve- 
ment and  to  enjoy  to  the  utmost  the  beauties  which  Nature  has  so  bountifully  bestowed 
upon  this  region.  Such  is  the  earnest  wish  of  the  publishers  of  this,  Ansel  Watrous'  His- 
tory of  Larimer  county. 

The  Courier  Printing  ^  Publishing  Company. 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER 


COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


Colorado 


'Colorado,  rare  Colorado!  Yonder  she  rests;  her  head  of  gold  pillowed  on  the  Rocky 
Mountains,  her  feet  in  the  brown  grass,  the  boundless  plains  for  a  playground;  she  is  set  on 
a  hill  before  the  world,  and  the  air  is  very  clear,  so  all  may  see  her  well. " — Joaquin  Miller. 


IN  1806,  one  hundred  and  four  years  ago,  a 
military  exploring  party,  led  by  Lieut.  Zebu- 
Ion  M.  Pike,  United  States  army,  penetrated 
the  western  country  from  the  Mississippi 
river  to  the  Rocky  Mountains.  The  region  then 
explored,  known  as  the  Louisiana  province,  had, 
three  years  before,  been  acquired  by  the  United 
States  by  purchase  from  France,  and  only  a  vague 
and  indefinite  knowledge  of  the  extent,  and  char- 
acter and  resources  was  in  possession  of  the  Govern- 
ment. Lieut.  Pike  and  his  party  in  November  of 
that  year  reached  the  base  of  the  mountain  which 
bears  his  name  and  which  will  forever  perpetuate 
his  memory,  although  he  never  scaled  its  summit. 
He  is  believed  to  have  been  the  first  American  to 
enter  Colorado.  While  on  the  return  journey  he 
was  captured  by  Spanish  troops  and  taken  to 
Chihuahua.  Long's  Peak,  forming  the  southwestern 
corner  post  of  Larimer  county,  similarly  honors 
Major  Stephen  H.  Long,  who  explored  parts  of 
Colorado  in  1820.  About  the  year  1840  Mexico 
made  a  grant  of  a  vast  tract  of  land  in  the  Las 
Animas  region  to  Cols.  Vigil,  and  St.  Vrain ;  a 
little  later  William  Bent  established  a  trading  post 
on  the  Arkansas  river. 

Colorado  west  of  the  Continental  Divide  belonged 
to  Mexico,  and  was  ceded  to  the  United  States  in 
1848,  and  became  part  of  the  new  Territory  of 
Utah.  Colorado  east  of  the  divide  lay  in  the  huge 
province  of  Louisana,  a  part  of  New  France,  ceded 
to  Spain  in  1763,  restored  to  France  in  1801,  and 
sold  to  the  United  States  in  1803,  for  $15,000,000. 
From  that  date  until  1812  it  lay  in  Louisana  Ter- 
ritory; and  after  that  in  Missouri  Territory;  and 
from  1854  in  Nebraska  and  Kansas  Territories. 
The  region  south  of  the  Arkansas  river  belonged  to 
the  Republic  of  Texas  from  its  foundation  until  it 
became  merged  in  the  United  States,  when  part  of 
it  was  annexed  to  New  Mexico  and  part  to  Kansas. 
As  early  as  1848,  a  wandering  band  of  Cherokee 
Indians  discovered  gold  in  the  vicinity  of  what  is 
now  the  city  of  Denver;  but  it  was  not  until  1858 
that  W.  Green  Russell's  party  of  Georgians  and  a 
company  from  Kansas,  began  to  wash  gold  from  the 


sands  of  the  South  Platte  river  and  its  tributaries. 
In  May,  1859,  John  H.  Gregory  discovered  gold 
near  Idaho  Springs.  When  the  news  of  these 
treasures  of  the  mountains  reached  the  East,  a  vast 
and  tumultuous  emigration  began  across  the  wild 
untrodden  plains,  and  the  serene  and  lonely  Pike's 
Peak  region  becanje  the  magnet  of  thousands  of 
brave  adventurers. 

The  Territory  of  Colorado  was  created  by  act  of 
Congress,  approved  February,  1861.  The  boundar- 
ies of  Colorado,  as  described  in  the  organic  act,  in- 
cluded all  the  territory  between  the  thirty-seventh 
and  forty-first  parallels  of  north  latitude,  and  the 
twenty-fifth  and  thirty-second  meridians  of  longi- 
tude west  of  Washington,  forming  an  oblong  square 
containing  104,500  square  miles,  or  66,880,000 
acres  of  land.  The  Territorial  oflScers  commissioned 
by  President  Lincoln  were  William  Gilpin,  Gov- 
ernor; Lewis  L.  Weld,  Secretary;  Benjamin  F. 
Hall,  Chief  Justice ;  S.  Newton  Pettis  and  Charles 
L.  Armor,  Associate  Justices;  Copeland  Townsend, 
Marshal;  James  D.  Daliba,  Attorney-General,  and 
F.  M.  Case,  Surveyor-General.  They  arrived  in 
Denver  May  29th,  and  were  cordially  welcomed. 
The  constitutions  drafted  in  1859  and  1863  were 
rejected  by  the  people,  but  in  1865  they  adopted  one, 
and  congress  passed  an  act  admitting  the  Territory 
to  the  Union.  President  Johnson  vetoed  this  docu- 
ment, and  for  eleven  years  longer  the  people  re- 
mained under  a  Territorial  government. 

When  the  Civil  war  broke  out  in  1861,  Colorado 
sent  into  the  Union  army  two  regiments  of  cavalry, 
a  regiment  of  infantry  and  a  battery,  besides  raising 
troops  for  home  defense.  Threatened  by  Confed- 
erates on  one  side  and  Indians  on  the  other,  many 
pioneers  returned  to  the  East  to  remain  until  the 
trouble  was  over.  Sibley's  Confederate  invasion  of 
New  Mexico  in  1861  had  for  its  chief  object  an  ad- 
vance to  the  Platte  valley  and  the  occupation  of  the 
country  as  far  north  as  Fort  Laramie.  Thus  the  Pa- 
cific coast  states  would  be  cut  away  from  the  Repub- 
lic, and  the  overland  route  closed.  This  deadly 
peril  was  averted  by  the  Colorado  volunteers,  who 
did  not  wait  for  the  invaders  to  reach  their  country, 

[7] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


but  advanced  into  New  Mexico,  and  met  and 
checked  the  hitherto  triumphant  Confederates  at  La 
Glorietta  (Apache  Caiion). 

Following  the  close  of  the  war  in  1865,  a  new 
tide  of  immigrants  flowed  into  Colorado  and  the  de- 
velopment of  its  resources  became  more  rapid  and 
life  more  secure.  The  Ute  Indians,  formerly  sole 
owners  of  the  western  part  of  the  Territory,  sold 
their  lands  to  the  Government,  and  were  concen- 
trated upon  the  White  river,  Uncompahgre  and 
Southern  reservations,  whence  most  of  them  have 
since  been  removed  to  Utah. 

The  name  "Colorado"  is  the  past  participle  of  the 
Spanish  verb  "Colorar,"  "to  color,"  with  a  second- 
ary meaning  of  "ruddy"  or  "blushing;"  and  was 
originally  applied  by  the  Spaniards  to  the  Colorado 
river,  whose  water  is  red  in  hue  when  swollen  by 
the  heavy  rains  from  the  disintegration  of  the  red- 
dish soils  through  which  it  flows.  A  popular  nick- 
name for  Colorado  is  the  Centennial  State,  because 
it  was  admitted  to  the  Union  in  the  hundredth  year 
after  the  signing  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence. 
Later  it  was  called  the  Silver  State,  because  of  the 
predominance  of  that  metal  in  the  mines  then 
worked.  The  older  title  of  the  Buffalo-Plain  State 
is  now  meaningless  and  has  been  for  more  than  three 
decades,  since  the  extinction  of  the  bison.  The 
people  living  here  used  to  be  called  Pike's  Peakers. 

Colorado's  coat-of-arms  includes  a  shield,  with  a 
miner's  pick  and  mallet  crossed,  and  a  range  of 
snowy  mountains.  The  motto  is  "Nil  Sine  Nu- 
mine''  Latin  words  meaning  "Nothing  without 
God." 

The  Governors  of  Colorado  have  been :     Terri- 
torial:  William  Gilpin  ,  1861-2;  John  Evans,  1862- 
5;  Alex.  Cummins,   1865-7;  A.  C.  Hunt,   1867-9 
Edward  M.  McCook,  1869-73;  Samuel  H.  Elbert 
1873-4;  John   L.   Routt,    1874-6;   State:  John   L 
Routt,    1877-9;    Frederick    W.    Pitkin,    1879-83 
James  B.  Grant,  1883-85;  Benj.  H.  Eaton,  1885-7 
Alva   Adams,    1887-9;   Job   A.    Cooper,    1889-91 
John  L.  Routt,  1891-3;  Davis  H.  White,  1893-5 
W.   J.   Mclntyre,    1895-7;  Alva   Adams,    1897-9 
Charles    S.    Thomas,    1899-01  ;   James    B.    Orman, 
1901-3;  James  H.  Peabody,  1903-5;  J.  F.  McDon- 
ald,  1905-7;  Henry  A.  Buchtel,   1907-9;  John  F. 
Shafroth,  1909-11. 

Geography 

Colorado  covers  an  area  equal  to  New  England 
and  Ohio  combined.  Its  chief  divisions  are  the 
Plains,  the  Foothills,  and  the  Rocky  Mountains. 
The  Great  Plains  ascend  from  Kansas  to  the  Foot- 

[8] 


hills,  a  vast  open  region  of  low  ridges  and  valleys 
with  an  elevation  of  from  3,000  to  5,000  feet  above 
the  sea.  Everywhere,  in  their  season,  the  face  of  the 
country  is  covered  with  gorgeous  wild  flowers,  and 
modern  irrigation  processes,  wherever  water  can  be 
applied,  are  converting  the  plains  into  a  rich  garden 
of  agriculture.  The  Divide  is  a  ridge  7,500  feet 
above  the  sea,  running  eastward  from  the  front 
range,  and  separating  the  waters  of  the  Platte  and 
Arkansas  rivers.  The  Plains  were  originally  tree- 
less, save  where  belts  of  cottonwood  and  aspen  fol- 
lowed the  courses  of  the  streams ;  but  since  the  ad- 
vance of  population  hitherward  and  the  develop- 
ment of  irrigating  systems,  myriads  of  trees  have 
been  planted  on  the  uplands  and  in  the  valleys.  The 
Foothills  run  north  and  south,  from  thirty  to  fifty 
miles  wide,  with  an  elevation  of  from  6,500  to  8,000 
feet,  diversified  and  broken  in  their  outline,  and  gen- 
erally abounding  in  timber  and  water.  They  con- 
tain many  fertile  valleys  and  grazing  districts,  and 
thousands  of  beautiful  homes  have  been  established 
among  them.  They  are  also  rich  in  minerals,  clays 
and  building  stones,  including  granite  and  marble. 

The  Rocky  Mountains  form  the  Continental  Di- 
vide, or  water  shed,  and  traverse  Colorado  from 
north  to  south  and  southwest,  with  many  tributary 
ranges.  This  magnificent  labyrinth  has  two-score 
peaks  of  above  14,000  feet,  and  nearly  200  exceed- 
ing 13,000  in  height.  For  150  miles  north  and  south, 
from  Gunnison  to  the  northern  boundary  of  the  state 
the  mountain  mass  is  120  miles  wide  and  includes 
the  Front,  Park  and  Saguache  ranges.  The  Medicine 
Bow  range,  which  forms  the  western  boundary  of 
Larimer  county,  is  a  spur  of  the  main  range.  The 
front  range  is  the  eastern  line  of  peaks,  visible  for 
scores  of  miles  over  the  lonely  plains  toward  the 
Missouri,  and  forming  a  vast  and  impressive  line 
of  mountains,  broken  by  several  summits  which  over- 
tower  the  great  wall.  It  is  120  miles  long,  begin- 
ning on  the  south  of  the  famous  Pike's  Peak,  14,147 
feet  high,  which  for  many  years  gave  its  name  to  all 
Colorado.  Its  summit  is  reached  by  a  long  carriage 
road,  and  also  a  mountain  cog-wheel  railway,  built 
in  1890.  The  view  from  this  point,  and  from  the 
oft-ascended  Gray's  and  Long's  and  other  peaks,  is 
of  immense  extent  and  amazing  grandeur. 

The  parks  of  Colorado  are  ancient  lake  basins 
walled  in  by  stupendous  mountain  ranges,  and  com- 
posed of  beautiful,  undulating  regions  of  vales  and 
hillsides,  with  bright  lakes  and,  streams,  shadowy 
forests,  and  a  varied  and  abundant  vegetation  of 
timber,  flowers  and  grasses.  They  extend  nearly  the 
whole  length  of  the  state  from  north  to  south,  just 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER 


COUNTY 


COLORADO 


west  of  the  Front  range,  with  an  average  width  of 
about  fifty  miles,  and  are  separated  from  each  other 
by  high  mountains.  North  Park,  with  its  2,500 
square  miles  of  wooded  hillsides  and  meadows,  for- 
merly a  part  of  Larimer  county,  but  created,  organ- 
ized and  established  in  1909  as  Jackson  county,  lays 
on  the  northern  border  of  the  state,  between  the 
Continental  Divide  on  the  west,  the  Medicine  Bow 
mountains  on  the  east  and  the  Rabbit  Ear  range  on 
the  south.  The  North  Platte  river  takes  its  rise  in 
the  park  and  flows  into  Wyoming.  North  Park  has 
an  elevation  of  8,500  feet  above  the  sea  and  is  the 
stockman's  paradise,  its  rich  pastures  and  extensive 
meadows  providing  forage  for  tens  of  thousands  of 
cattle  and  horses.  It  is  almost  entirely  underlaid 
with  a  fine  quality  of  lignite  coal,  some  of  whose 
measures  are  sixty-five  feet  in  thickness.  Walden, 
situated  near  the  junction  of  the  Michigan  and  Illi- 
nois rivers,  tributaries  of  the  North  Platte,  is  the 
principal  town  and  county  seat  of  Jackson  county. 
It  has  a  population  of  about  600,  and  practically  all 
lines  of  business  are  represented  there.  During  the 
present  year  it  will  probably  be  connected  up  with 
the  outside  world  by  the  Laramie,  Hahn's  Peak 
Pacific  railroad,  which  is  building  into  North  Park 
from  Laramie,  Wyoming.  Southward,  across  the 
narrow  and  lofty  Rabbit  Ear  range,  which  forms  a 
part  of  the  Continental  Divide,  lies  Middle  Park. 
Middle  Park  covers  3,000  square  miles  of  pleasant 
valleys  and  wooded  hills,  9,000  feet  above  the  sea, 
and  environed  on  three  sides  by  magnificent  snowy 
ranges,  with  Long's  Peak,  Gray's  Peak,  and  their 
lofty  brethren  overlooking  its  grassy  hills.  It  forms 
a  part  of  Grand  county,  whose  shire  town  is  Hot 
Sulphur  Springs.  Middle  Park  is  now  crossed  by 
the  Moffat  road  in  course  of  construction  from  Den- 
ver to  Salt  Lake.  South  Park,  the  most  attractive 
of  the  series,  is  a  lovely  vale  forty  miles  long,  walled 
in  by  the  Rampart  range  on  the  east  and  the  Snowy 
Park  range  in  the  west,  and  watered  by  the  South 
Platte  and  its  silvery  confluents.  This  mountain- 
girt  amphitheater,  with  its  wonderful  variety  of  rich- 
ness of  scenery,  is  traversed  by  several  railways  and 
dotted  with  villages,  mines  and  ranches.  Its  average 
elevation  is  9,000  feet  above  the  sea  level. 

The  San  Luis  Park  covers  9,400  square  miles  and 
is  the  largest  of  Colorado's  inter-mountain  parks.  It 
is  walled  in  by  the  Sangre-de-Cristo  and  Culebra 
ranges  on  the  east,  and  by  the  Sierra  San  Juan  on 
the  west.  Here  the  Rio  Grande  river  takes  its  rise 
amid  noble  forests. 

The  valleys  of  the  Grand  and  Gunnison  rivers 
and  Roaring  Fork  were  first  settled  by  white  people 


in  1880.  Since  then  this  vast  area  has  devel- 
oped rapidly  and  numerous  villages,  towns  and  cities 
exist  now  where  only  the  red  men  made  their  homes 
prior  to  that  date.  In  these  valleys  are  found  inex- 
haustible fields  of  coal,  iron,  lead,  copper  and  silver, 
and  large  areas  of  rich  soil  specially  adapted  to  fruit 
culture.  Thousands  of  carloads  of  peaches,  apricots, 
pears,  plums  and  apples  are  shipped  out  of  these  val- 
leys every  year. 

The  rivers  of  Colorado  are  unnavigable  torrents, 
flowing  down  out  of  the  mountains  with  flashing 
cascades,  quiet  pools  and  foaming  rapids.  Here  the 
Platte,  Arkansas,  Rio  Grande  and  Colorado  are 
born.  The  Republican  and  the  Smoky  Hill  Fork  of 
the  Kansas  rise  from  the  Plains  in  the  eastern  part 
of  the  state.  East  of  the  front  range  the  waters  of 
the  mountain-born  streams  are  skillfully  availed  of 
for  the  irrigation  of  thousands  of  productive  farms. 
The  North  Platte  gathers  its  waters  from  the  Medi- 
.cine.  Bow  range  and  the  Continental  Divide  in 
North  Park.  The  South  Platte  is  born  at  Mont- 
gomery, on  Buckskin  mountain,  11,176  feet  high, 
and  crosses  South  Park,  descending  6,000  feet  before 
reaching  Denver.  The  sources  of  the  Arkansas  are 
in  Tennessee  pass,  and  for  scores  of  miles  it  flows 
like  a  silver  thread  at  the  bottom  of  a  caiion  over  a 
thousand  feet  deep,  culminating  in  the  Royal  Gorge, 
near  Canon  City.  The  Arkansas  flows  across  the 
Plains,  southeast,  500  miles  in  Colorado,  receiving 
the  waters  of  the  Greenhorn,  Huerfano,  Apishapa, 
Purgatoire,  Cimmaron,  Fountaine  qui  Bouille  and 
numerous  other  streams.  The  Purgatoire  river  tra- 
verses a  wonderful  canon  fifty  miles  long,  with 
walls  800  to  1,000  feet  high,  around  whose  gloomy 
shadows  (if  tradition  may  be  believed)  an  entire 
Spanish  regiment  was  lost.  The  Rio  Grande  river 
rises  in  the  Sierra  San  Juan  and  flows  east  and  south 
through  San  Luis  Park  and  into  New  Mexico.  The 
northwestern  part  of  the  state  is  watered  by  the 
Grand,  Bear  (Yampah)  and  White  rivers,  and  their 
numerous  affluents.  The  Animas,  Mancos  and 
other  tributaries  of  the  San  Juan  drain  the  chaotic 
mountains  of  Southwestern  Colorado  into  the  Colo- 
rado river.  In  this  region,  along  the  Hovenweep 
and  McElmo,  are  found  the  ruined  houses  and 
watch  towers  of  the  long-extinct  Cliff  Dwellers, 
driven  ages  ago  to  their  holes  in  the  precipice  walls 
by  deadly  enemies,  Aztecs  or  Apaches.  Some  of  the 
ruins  are  700  feet  long,  constructed  of  massive 
blocks  of  stone,  or  carved  with  great  labor  from  the 
live  rock. 

Much  of  the  finest  scenery  of  the  Atlantic  slope 
occurs  in  the  wonderful  chasms  which  the  streams 


[9] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


and  convulsions  of  Nature  have  hewn  in  the  sides  of 
the  mountains  with  perpendicular  granite  or  sand- 
stone walls.  Cache  la  Poudre,  Big  Thompson, 
Boulder,  Cheyenne,  Clear  Creek,  Grape  Creek  and 
other  canons  are  famous  for  their  remarkable 
scenery,  and  the  Grand  Canon  of  the  Arkansas  is 
even  more  impressive  and  wonderful.  West  of  the 
main  range  the  streams  flow  in  the  bottoms  of  yet 
more  prodigious  canons,  with  rock  walls  half  a  mile 
or  more  high,  generally  mostly  precipitous,  and 
sometimes  even  overhanging  their  bases.  The  Black 
and  Grand  canons  of  the  Gunnison,  the  long  gorge 
of  the  Uncompahgre,  and  the  deep  chasms  in  which 
the  Dolores  flows  are  remarkable  for  their  extent 
and  grandeur. 

High  up  among  the  sunlit  peaks  many  crystalline 
lakes  reflect  the  clear  sky  and  the  granite  spires 
above  them,  and  send  their  bright  waters  plunging 
and  murmuring  down  through  rugged  canons  to 
join  other  streams  making  for  either  the  Atlantic  or 
the  Pacific  oceans.  Near  Georgetown  is  the  deep 
emerald  expanse  of  Green  Lake,  with  Clear  Lake 
above  it  and  Elk  Lake  at  the  edge  of  the  timber  line. 
The  Twin  Lakes,  fourteen  miles  from  Leadville,  lie 
at  the  base  of  the  lofty  Mount  Elbert,  9,357  feet 
above  the  sea,  and  their  unusual  beauty  has  attracted 
a  settlement  of  summer  hotels  and  cottages  on  their 
shores.  The  five  Evergreen  lakes  mirror  the  huge 
sides  of  Mount  Massive;  and  the  crag-bound  Chi- 
cago lakes  spread  their  transparent  waters  high  up 
near  the  summits  of  Mount  Evans,  the  uppermost  of 
them  being  11,434  feet  above  sea  level,  and  perpet- 
ually frozen.  Palmer  lake,  on  the  Divide,  midway 
between  Denver  and  Pueblo  (7,238  feet  high),  has 
on  its  shore  a  pleasant  health  resort,  villages  and 
sanitariums.  Nestled  high  up  on  the  pine-clad 
slopes  of  Mount  Cameron,  in  the  Medicine  Bow 
range,  lies  Chambers  lake,  one  of  Larimer  county's 
boasted  beauty  spots.  This  lake  is  at  an  elevation  of 
9,000  feet  above  sea  level,  and  is  fed  by  Joe  Wright, 
Trap  and  other  small  streams  which  head  still 
higher  up  in  the  mountains,  and  its  outlet  is  one  of 
the  sources  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river.  It  was 
named  for  a  bold  trapper  and  hunter  named  Cham- 
bers, who  in  the  early  part  of  the  nineteenth  century 
penetrated  the  wilderness  at  the  headwaters  of  the 
Cache  la  Poudre  in  search  of  beaver  and  other  fur- 
bearing  animals.  Joe  Wright  creek  also  owes  its 
name  to  a  trapper  who  spent  a  winter  on  the  stream 
gathering  peltries. 

Large  areas  of  white  and  yellow  pine  and  cedar 
still  remain  on  the  mountains  of  Colorado.  The 
ridges  and  mountains  are  covered  with  noble  ever- 

[10] 


green  trees,  up  to  9,000  feet,  and  thin  and  wind- 
blown trees  for  3,000  feet  higher,  or  up  to  timber 
line,  above  which  the  peaks  are  bleak  rocks,  with 
slight  patches  of  grass  and  alpine  flowers.  The  wild 
animals  of  the  highlands  include  bears,  wolves, 
pumas,  wild  cats,  deer,  elk,  beaver  and  others.  On 
the  plains  millions  of  prairie  dogs  dwell,  with  deer, 
antelopes,  wolves,  coyotes,  hares  and  other  game, 
yearly  dwindling  away. 

The  climate  of  this  great  mountain  realm  nat- 
urally has  a  wide  diversity;  from  the  high  summer 
heat  of  the  plains  to  the  perpetual  snows  of  the 
mountain  ranges.  The  east  and  south  winds  are 
damp  and  cold;  the  west  winds,  though  blowing 
across  hundreds  of  miles  of  snowy  ranges,  are  warm 
and  dry.  As  a  rule  the  nights  are  cool,  even  when 
the  days  reach  90  degrees.  The  foothills  have  hot 
summers,  with  cool  nights,  and  mild  winters,  with 
snow  seldom  abiding  long.  The  average  mean  tem- 
perature in  winter  is  30.3  degrees ;  spring,  48.7  de- 
grees; summer,  69.7  degrees,  and  autumn,  50.7  de- 
grees. Changes  are  frequent  and  sometimes  sharp, 
but  the  dryness  of  the  atmosphere  mitigates  their  se- 
verity. From  November  to  April  snow  may  come, 
but  it  very  seldom  remains  for  more  than  a  few 
days  at  a  time;  and  thence  till  the  close  of  summer 
short  rain  showers  refresh  the  country.  More  than 
300  days  in  each  year  are  either  clear  or  partly  clear. 
From  July  to  November  the  sky  is  bright  and 
cloudless,  and  the  air  is  pure,  sweet  and  exhilarat- 
ing. "An  air  more  delicious  to  breathe  cannot 
anywhere  be  found,"  says  Bayard  Taylor.  This 
climate  is  favorable  to  health  and  vigor;  and 
the  pleasant  region  of  the  foothills  is  a  great 
and  beneficient  sanitarium,  especially  for  those 
who  suffer  from  bronchial  and  pulmonary  af- 
fections. These  diseases  are  arrested  in  the  dry, 
highland  air,  and  many  Eastern  people  now  enjoy 
good  health  in  Colorado  who  would  have  died 
had  they  remained  in  their  old  homes.  It  is  impor- 
tant that  invalids  avoid  high  altitudes,  and  remain 
at  the  health  resorts  below  the  line  of  7,500  feet. 
The  electric  air  excites  the  nervous  system  of  new- 
comers especially  to  a  high  tension,  producing  a  sort 
of  intoxication  of  good  health,  with  keen  appetites, 
perfect  digestion  and  sound,  refreshing  sleep. 

Colorado  is  generously  favored  with  health-pro- 
moting medicated  mineral  and  thermal  springs, 
nearly  all  of  which  are  provided  with  hotels  and 
bath  houses.  Five  miles  west  of  Colorado  Springs 
lies  the  famous  health  resort  of  Manitou,  with  its 
soda,  iron,  seltzer,  and  sulphur  springs,  attracting 
thousands  of  persons  a  year  to  the  adjacent  hotels. 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER        COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


Idaho  springs  rush  from  the  base  of  Santa  Fe  moun- 
tain, near  the  headwaters  of  Clear  creek.  There 
are  both  hot  and  cold  waters,  used  in  various  forms 
of  baths,  and  the  analysis  show  ingredients  like  those 
of  Carlsbad  springs.  This  locality  is  much  visited 
by  consumptives  and  those  suffering  from  rheuma- 
tism, who  find  healing  in  the  medicinal  fountains. 
Canon  City,  near  the  picturesque  Grape  Creek 
Canon  and  the  Royal  Gorge,  has  soda  springs  and 
hot  springs.  The  Boulder  saline  water  enjoys  a  large 
sale  throughout  America  and  Europe.  Springdale, 
ten  miles  northwest  of  Boulder,  has  tonic  iron 
waters.  There  are  valuable  springs  at  Morrison,  a 
fashionable  mountain  resort  twenty  miles  from  Den- 
ver, and  near  Bear  Canon  and  the  Garden  of  the 
Angels.  The  Haywood  and  Cottonwood  springs, 
near  Buena  Vista,  are  visited  by  thousands  of 
health-seekers.  In  the  narrow  Wagon  Wheel  Gap, 
where  the  Upper  Rio  Grande  roars  down  through  a 
palisaded  cleft  in  the  mountains,  are  hot  and  cold 
soda  and  sulphur  springs,  with  large  hotels  and  bath 
houses.  The  soda  springs  near  Leadville  are  under 
the  shadow  of  the  Saguache  range.  Poncha  hot 
springs,  near  Salida,  form  a  group  of  fifty-five 
sources  of  clear,  odorless  and  tasteless  water,  with 
hotels  and  bath  houses  and  great  numbers  of  yearly 
visitors.  Pagosa  springs,  between  the  Sierra  San 
Juan  and  the  grassy  plains  of  New  Mexico,  bubble 
up  in  a  great  rocky  basin,  and  supply  purgative 
alkaline  waters  of  high  medicinal  value.  They  have 
a  temperature  of  140  degrees,  and  the  steam  from 
the  basin  can  be  seen  for  miles  in  cool  weather. 
Glenwood  springs  are  ten  in  number,  pouring  out 
every  minute  8,000  gallons  of  warm  water,  power- 
fully medicated,  alkaline,  saline,  sulphurous  and 
chalybeate,  some  of  them  in  hot,  vaporous  caves  near 
the  Grand  river,  and  others  provided  with  swim- 
ming pools  and  bath  houses.  Shaw's  magnetic 
springs  are  near  Del  Norte,  in  the  San  Luis  valley. 
Trimble's  hot  springs  and  the  Pinkerton  springs  are 
near  Durango.  The  hot  sulphur  springs,  six  in 
number,  boil  out  from  the  base  of  a  cliif  at  the  head 
of  Troublesome  canon,  in  Middle  Park,  and  are 
provided  with  baths.  South  Park  contains  a  group 
of  saline  and  alkaline  springs,  and  also  Hartzell's 
hot  sulphur  springs.  Steamboat  springs,  in  Routt 
county,  form  a  group  of  eighty  hot  fountains  at  the 
foot  of  the  Park  range. 

Prior  to  1870  agriculture  had  not  assumed  com- 
manding proportions  in  Colorado,  but  since  then  it 
has  advanced  by  leaps  and  bounds  until  at  the  pres- 
ent time,  through  the  construction  of  vast  irrigation 
systems,    supplemented    by   water   storage   and    the 


bringing  under  cultivation  of  extensive  areas  of  pro- 
ductive land,  tilling  of  the  soil  has  become  the  domi- 
nating industry  of  the  state.  At  this  time  the  value 
of  the  products  of  the  farms,  orchards  and  gardens 
is  more  than  double  the  value  of  the  mineral  pro- 
ductions of  the  state,  so  that  agriculture  is  now  far 
in  the  lead  of  mining  so  far  as  net  financial  results 
are  concerned.  Though  there  is  a  steady  increase 
year  by  year  in  the  value  of  mineral  products,  agri- 
culture has  taken  the  lead  and  bids  fair  to  hold  it 
for  all  time  to  come.  The  aridity  of  the  soil  has 
been  overcome  by  artificial  irrigation,  by  whose  aid 
nearly  4,000,000  acres  have  been  brought  under 
profitable  cultivation,  with  the  area  increasing  every 
year.  It  is  estimated  by  the  State  Engineer  that  there 
are  10,000,000  acres  of  land  in  the  state  which  can 
be  brought  under  cultivation  through  irrigation. 
The  irrigating  canals  which  have  their  heads  in  the 
perennial  mountain  streams,  are  tapped  by  smaller 
lateral  ditches  leading  to  the  higher  slopes  of  the 
farms,  and  minor  ditches  reach  the  fields,  which  are 
in  turn  gridironed  by  plow  furrows.  When  the 
crops  need  water,  the  head-gates  of  the  laterals  are 
opened  and  crystal  streams  flow  down  the  field 
ditches,  and  are  admitted  into  the  furrows  by  taking 
away  a  shovelful  of  earth  from  each  one.  In  a  brief 
space  of  time  the  land  is  thoroughly  moistened  and 
the  growing  crops  refreshed  as  from  a  prolonged 
rain.  The  moisture  is  controlled  absolutely  by  the 
farmer  and  he  can  apply  it  to  those  fields  and  crops 
which  most  need  it,  and  at  the  same  time  withhold 
in  from  fields  and  crops  that  have  already  been  sup- 
plied with  all  they  need.  The  state  is  divided  into 
five  irrigation  divisions,  each  in  charge  of  an  expe- 
rienced engineer,  and  the  divisions  are  sub-divided 
into  water  districts,  each  supervised  by  a  water  com- 
missioner. These  officials,  under  the  supervision  of 
the  State  Engineer,  distribute  the  waters  according 
to  priority  rights. 

Stock-raising  and  stock-feeding  have  long  been  im- 
portant industries  in  the  state.  The  grasses  are 
nutritive  and  abundant,  and  horses,  cattle  and  sheep 
thrive  on  dry  alfalfa  and  native  hay.  The  occupa- 
tion of  the  great  plains  by  farmers  has  forced  the 
large  herds  of  cattle  to  new  pastures  elsewhere,  and 
two-thirds  of  the  live  stock  of  the  state  are  now  on 
the  farms,  where  agricultural  and  stock-raising  in- 
terests are  blended,  as  in  the  older  states,  and  the 
animals  are  more  carefully  fed  and  looked  after 
during  the  winter,  thus  minimizing  the  losses.  Some 
of  the  finest  cattle  in  the  world  are  raised  in  Colo- 
rado— prize-winners  at  the  international  stock  shows 
in  Chicago.     Wool  growing  is  successfully  carried 

[H] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


on  in  Colorado  and  yields  handsome  returns  to  the 
flock-masters.  There  are  about  3,000,000  sheep  in 
the  state  and  from  12,000,000  to  15,000,000  pounds 
of  wool  are  marketed  in  the  East  each  year.  About 
one  million  lambs  are  fed  in  the  state  every  year  for 
the  Eastern  markets.  This  industry,  besides  yielding 
the  feeders  a  good  profit  one  year  after  another,  aids 
materially  in  preserving  the  fertility  and  promoting 
the  productiveness  of  the  soil. 

The  early  settlers  of  Colorado  devoted  almost 
their  entire  time  and  attention  to  mining,  and  enor- 
mous profits  have  since  been  realized  from  that  in- 
dustry. The  mountains  west  of  the  105th  meridian 
are  branded  with  mineral  veins  of  incalculable  value, 
and  the  total  bullion  production  of  the  state  has 
reached  the  enormous  sum  of  nearly  $400,000,000. 
During  the  golden  age  of  Colorado,  silver  mining 
was  not  much  heeded,  but  between  the  years  1880 
and  1893  it  turned  out  annually  four  times  as  much 
silver  as  gold.  Now,  however,  more  than  twice  as 
much  gold  as  silver  is  produced  annually  by  the 
mines  of  Colorado. 

The  coal  fields  of  the  state  cover  40,000  square 
miles,  the  measures  running  all  the  way  from  two 
to  sixty  feet  in  thickness.  The  output  of  coal  rose 
from  8,000  tons  in  1869  to  nearly  12,000,000  tons 
in  1909.  Much  of  the  Colorado  coal  is  bituminous, 
but  large  areas  of  pure  anthracite  have  been  opened 
at  Crested  Butte,  New  Castle  and  in  Routt  county. 
Lignite  beds  follow  the  eastern  base  of  the  moun- 
tains for  250  miles.  Since  the  early  '80s  petroleum 
has  been  one  of  the  important  productions  of  the 
state,  and  the  volume  is  steadily  increasing. 

Extensive  quarrying  industries  have  been  built  up 
in  recent  years  and  immense  quantities  of  building 
and  paving  material  and  flagging  for  sidewalks  and 
basement  floors  are  annually  wrenched  from  their 
resting  places  in  the  hills  and  made  to  perform  serv- 
ice in  advancing  the  onward  march  of  civilization. 
Sandstones,  granite  and  marble  are  found  in  great 
variety  in  the  foothills.  Marble  occurs  in  white, 
black,  pink  and  variegated  colors  in  various  portions 
of  the  state.  Larimer  county  has  inexhaustible  quar- 
ries of  red  and  gray  sandstone ;  also  of  marble  and 
granite.  The  walls  of  some  of  the  finest  buildings 
in  Denver  are  constructed  of  Larimer  county  granite. 

The  State  capitol  in  Denver  is  a  handsome  mod- 
ern building,  of  Colorado  granite,  erected  at  a  cost 
of  more  than  $2,000,000.  The  state  institutions  in- 
clude the  Insane  Asylum  at  Pueblo;  the  School  for 
the  Education  of  the  Mute  and  Blind  at  Colorado 
Springs;  the  Penitentiary  at  Canon  City;  the  State 
Reformatory  at  Buena  Vista;  the  State  Industrial 

[12] 


School  for  boys  at  Golden;  the  State  Industrial 
School  for  girls  at  Morrison,  and  the  Soldiers'  Home 
at  Monte  Vista. 

The  public  schools  of  Colorado  are  of  high  grade, 
comparing  favorably  with  those  of  the  most  ad- 
vanced of  the  older  states.  More  than  3,000,000 
acres  of  land  have  been  set  apart  as  an  endowment 
for  the  public  schools,  and  the  State  school  in- 
come fund  is  yearly  increasing  in  amount.  One 
State  Normal  School  has  been  in  operation  in 
Greeley  for  fifteen  years,  and  another  one,  lo- 
cated on  the  Western  slope,  has  been  authorized 
by  the  Legislature.  The  University  of  Colorado, 
located  at  Boulder,  was  opened  in  1877.  The 
State  School  of  Mines  has  a  home  at  Golden, 
and  the  State  Agricultural  College  at  Fort  Col- 
lins. These  are  all  large,  well  equipped  and 
flourishing  institutions  with  a  steadily  increasing  en- 
rollment of  students.  In  addition  to  these  State  edu- 
cational institutions,  there  are  the  Presbyterian  Col- 
lege of  the  Southwest  at  Del  Norte,  Westminster 
College  at  Denver  (also  a  Presbyterian  school),  the 
Denver  University,  a  Methodist  institution;  the 
Baptist  Woman's  College  at  Montclair,  near  Den- 
ver; Colorado  College  at  Colorado  Springs,  and  the 
Jesuit  College,  north  of  Denver,  all  of  them  well 
supported.  Wolf  Hall  is  a  flourishing  Episcopal 
school  at  Denver.  The  National  Government  main- 
tains an  Indian  School  at  Grand  Junction.  Two 
United  States  military  posts  are  maintained  in  Colo- 
rado, the  chief  of  which  is  Fort  Logan,  near  Den- 
ver. The  other  is  Fort  Lewis,  near  Durango,  and 
guards  the  Ignacio  Ute  Reservation.  The  old 
frontier  stronghold.  Fort  Lyons,  in  the  Arkansas 
valley,  was  abandoned  in  1890. 

The  railways  of  Colorado  are  famous  for  their 
bold  engineering  and  their  wonderful  achievements 
in  the  passage  of  lofty  mountains  and  unparalleled 
gorges.  They  were  for  the  most  part  built  in  ad- 
vance of  population,  and  the  rapid  growth  of  the 
state  is  in  part  due  to  their  agency.  Six  great  rail- 
way transportation  lines  cross  the  Plains  and  enter 
the  state  from  the  east,  and  they  are  the  Atchison, 
Topeka  &  Santa  Fe,  the  Missouri  Pacific,  the 
Rock  Island  &  Pacific,  the  Kansas  Pacific,  the 
Burlington  and  the  Union  Pacific.  In  addition  to 
these  the  Chicago,  Milwaukee  &  St.  Paul  and  the 
Chicago  &  Northwestern  operate  through  passen- 
ger car  service  from  Chicago  to  Denver  over  the 
Union  Pacific  tracks,  so  that  in  reality  one  has  the 
choice  of  eight  lines  in  going  east  from  Denver  or  in 
com.ing  west.  The  first  railroad  built  in  Colorado 
was   the   Denver    Pacific,    extending    from    Denver 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY,    COLORADO 


north  to  Cheyenne,  Wyoming,  a  distance  of  106 
miles.  It  was  opened  for  traffic  June  22nd,  1870. 
The  Kansas  Pacific  was  completed  to  Denver  in 
August  of  that  year.  At  the  present  time  the  total 
railway  mileage  of  Colorado  is  5,360.31.  A  tele- 
graph line  was  established  from  Omaha  to  Jules- 
burg,  on  its  way  across  the  continent,  in  1861.  Two 
years  later,  in  October,  1863,  a  branch  line  was 
completed  to  Denver,  thus  putting  the  capital  city 
of  Colorado  in  direct  communication  by  wire  with 
the  East.  In  1865  the  line  was  extended  from  Den- 
ver to  Salt  Lake,  via  Fort  Collins  and  Virginia 
Dale,  and  Denver  became  the  repeating  station  for 
California  dispatches. 

The  cities  of  Colorado  having  a  population  of 
3,000  and  over  are  Aspen,  Boulder,  Canon  City, 
Central  City,  Colorado  Springs,  Cripple  Creek, 
Denver,  Durango,  Florence,  Fort  Collins,  Grand 
Junction,  Greeley,  Leadville,  Loveland,  Pueblo,  Sa- 
lida,  Trinidad  and  Victor.  Denver,  founded  in  1858, 
has  a  population  rising  213,000.  The  United  States 
census,  taken  this  year  (1910),  will  probably  show  a 
number  of  cities  other  than  these  given  herewith  that 
have  populations  exceeding  3,000.  The  population 
of  Colorado  in  1861  was  25,329,  four-fifths  of  which 
were  men.  It  is  expected  that  the  federal  census  for 
this  year  (1910)  will  show  a  population  in  Colorado 
of  nearly,  if  not  quite,  one  million. 

The  first  Territorial  Legislature,  which  met  in 
Denver  September  9th,  1861,  divided  the  Territory 
into  seventeen  counties  and  three  judicial  districts. 
The  names  of  the  counties  created  at  that  time  were 
Costilla,  Conejos,  Huerfano,  Pueblo,  Fremont,  El 
Paso,  Douglas,  Arapahoe,  Weld,  Larimer,  Boulder, 
Jefferson,  Clear  Creek,  Gilpin,  Park,  Lake,  Sum- 
mit. Laporte  was  named  in  the  act  as  the  county 
seat  of  Larimer  county,  and  the  county  was  assigned 
to  the  First  judicial  district,  with  Benjamin  F.  Hall 
as  Judge.  At  present  there  are  sixty  counties  in  the 
state  and  nineteen  judicial  districts. 

The  first  bank  in  Colorado  was  opened  in  1862, 
and  in  1865  the  First  National  Bank  of  Denver 
came  into  existence. 

The  geological  history  of  Colorado  is  concerned 
mainly  with  the  gradual  upheaval  of  the  great  conti- 
nental mountain  range  from  beneath  the  sea.  Be- 
ginning with  the  emergence  of  the  Sierra  Madre 
from  the  waste  of  waves,  this  uplifting  of  land  ad- 
vanced northward ;  and  the  Sierra  San  Juan  of  Colo- 
rado is  probably  the  most  ancient  section  of  firm 
ground  on  this  side  of  the  Republic.  Later  the  other 
ranges  slowly  appeared  above  the  sea,  the  Sangre  de 
Cristo   and   Sierra   Mojada,   and   finally   the   front 


range.  For  ages  the  waves  of  the  ocean  beat  against 
the  steep  western  declivities;  and  the  more  gradual 
eastern  slopes^were  formed  from  the  deposits  washed 
down  from  the  peaks  into  the  shallow  water  on  that 
side.  The  mountain  walls  enclosed  many  lakes  of 
salt  water,  which  finally  drained  off  through  the 
canons,  leaving  the  broad  basins  of  the  parks  for  the 
homes  of  the  coming  empire. 

"Colorado  is  the  flower  of  a  peculiarly  Western 
civilization,  in  which  is  mingled  the  best  blood  of 
the  North  and  the  South,  the  virile  sap  of  New 
England  and  the  CaroHnas — a  truly  American 
state." 

Physical  Features  of  Colorado 

The  physical  features  of  Colorado,  which,  of 
course,  includes  Larimer  County,  are  tersely  pre- 
sented in  the  history  of  Colorado,  written  by  Hubert 
Howe  Bancroft,  the  eminent  historian.     He-  says : 

"In  the  gradual  upheaval  of  the  continent  from 
a  deep  sea  submersion,  the  great  Sierra  Madre,  or 
Northern  range,  of  Old  Mexico  first  divided  the 
waters,  and  presented  a  wall  to  the  ocean  on  the 
west  side.  The  San  Juan  range  of  Colorado  is  an 
extension  of  the  Sierra  Madre,  and  the  oldest  land 
in  this  part  of  the  continent.  Then  at  intervals  far 
apart  rose  the  Sangre  de  Cristo  range,  the  Mojada 
or  Greenhorn  range,  and  lastly  the  Colorado, 
called  the  Front  range  because  it  is  first  seen  from 
the  east;  and  northeast  from  this  the  shorter  up- 
heavals of  Wind  River  and  the  Black  Hills,  each, 
as  it  lies  nearer  or  farther  from  the  main  Rocky 
range,  being  more  or  less  recent. 

"The  longer  slope  and  greater  accessibility  of  the 
mountains  on  the  eastern  acclivity  has  come  from 
the  gradual  wash  and  spreading  out  of  the  detrition 
of  these  elevations  in  comparatively  shallow  water, 
while  yet  the  ocean  thundered  at  the  western  base 
of  the  northern  range.  The  salt  water  enclosed  by 
the  barrier  of  the  Rocky  Mountains,  and  subdivided 
afterward  by  the  later  upheavals  into  lesser  seas, 
were  carried  off  through  the  canons  which  their 
own  mighty  force,  aided  by  other  activities  of 
Nature,  and  by  some  of  her  weaknesses,  opened  for 
them.  For  uncounted  ages  the  fresh  water  of  the 
land  flowed  into  these  inland  seas,  and  purged  them 
of  their  saline  flavor,  washing  the  salts  and  alkalies 
into  the  bed  of  the  ocean  on  the  west,  where  after 
the  emergence  of  the  Sierra  Nevada,  and  the  eleva- 
tion of  the  intervening  mountains  of  the  great  basin, 
they  largely  remained,  having  no  outlet.  Gradual 
elevation  and  evaporation,  with  glacial  action,  com- 


[13] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


pleted  the  general  shaping  of  the  country.  Subse- 
quent elemental  and  volcanic  action  has  left  it  with 
four  parallel  mountain  ranges,  from  which  shoot 
132  peaks,  ranging  from  12,000  to  14,500  feet 
above  the  sea  level,  and  from  9,000  to  10,000  feet 
above  the  general  level  of  the  State,  with  many 
lesser  ones ;  with  large  elevated  valleys,  called  parks, 
walled  about  with  majestic  heights,  covered  with 
luxuriant  grasses,  threaded  by  streams  of  the  purest 
water,  beautified  by  lakes  and  dotted  with  groups 
of  trees,  with  narrow,  fertile  valleys  skirting 
numerous  small  rivers,  fringed  with  cottonwood  and 
willows;  with  nobler  rivers  rushing  through  rents 
in  the  solid  mountains  thousands  of  feet  in  depth, 
and  decorated  by  time  and  weather,  with  carvings 
such  as  no  human  agency  could  ever  have  designed, 
their  wild  imagery  softened  by  blended  tones  of 
color  in  harmony  with  the  blue  sky,  the  purple  gray 
shadows  and  the  clinging  moss  and  herbage;  with 
forests  of  pine,  fir,  spruce,  aspen  and  other  trees, 
covering  the  mountain  sides  up  to  a  height  of 
10,000  or  12,000  feet;  with  wastes  of  sand  at  the 
western  base  of  the  Snovyy  range,  or  main  chain,  and 
arid  mesas  in  the  southeast,  where  everything  is 
stunted  except  enormous  cacti,  with  grassy  plains 
sloping  to  the  east,  made  gay  with  an  indigenous 
flower,  and  other  grassy  slopes  extending  to  the 
mountains  toward  the  west,  each  with  its  own  dis- 
tinctive features.  It  is,  above  all,  a  mountainous 
country,  and  with  all  its  streams,  which  are  numer- 
ous, it  is  a  dry  one.  In  the  summer  many  of  its 
seeming  water  courses  are  merely  arroyas — dry 
creek  beds;  others  contain  some  water  flowing  in 
channels  cut  twenty  or  more  feet  down  through 
yellow  clay  to  a  bed  of  shale,  and  still  others  run 
through  canons  with  narrow  bottoms  supporting 
rich  grass,  willow,  thorn,  cherry,  currant  and  plum 
trees.  Sloping  up  from  these  may  be  a  stretch  of 
rolling  country  covered  sparsely  with  low,  spread- 
ing cedars,  or  a  tableland  with  colonies  of  prairie 
dogs  scattered  over  it,  and  moving  upon  it  (in  the 
early  days)  herds  of  wild  horses,  buffaloes,  deer  and 
antelope.  Up  in  the  mountains  are  meadows,  hav- 
ing in  their  midst  beaver  dams,  overgrown  with 
aspens  and  little  brooks  trickling  from  them.  Sev- 
eral other  fur-bearing  animals  are  here  also.  In 
still  other  localities  are  fine  trout  streams,  and  game 
about  them  is  abundant,  elk,  mountain  sheep,  bears, 
lynxes,  wolves,  panthers,  pumas,  wildcats,  grouse, 
pheasants,  ptarmigans  and  birds  of  various  kinds 
having  their  habitat  there." 

Numerous  canons  open  on  to  the  Plains  from  the 
mountains  in  Larimer  County,  the  more  important 

[14] 


of  which  are  the  canons  of  the  Big  Thompson  and' 
Cache  la  Poudre  rivers,  which  were  cut  through 
the  hills  for  the  waters  to  flow  in  the  early  infancy 
of  this  world.  So  many  aspects  have  these  canons 
that  any  mood  may  be  satisfied  in  regarding  their 
varied  features.  Their  walls  have  a  width  between 
them  ranging  from  one  to  two  hundred  feet,  the 
rock  being  stratified,  and  continuing  for  miles.  In 
places  they  rise  one,  two  and  three  thousand  feet, 
with  level  summits,  surmounted  by  second  walls  of 
prodigious  height.  But  then  figures  represent  only 
height  and  depth;  they  convey  no  impression  of  the 
gorges  themselves,  which  sometimes  narrow  down  to 
the  width  of  the  stream,  and  all  is  gloom  and 
grandeur,  and  again  they  broaden  out  into  beautiful 
parks  and  meadows  with  waterfalls  dashing  down 
between  inclosing  walls,  trees  growing  out  of  the 
clefts,  huge  rocks  grouped  fantastically  about, 
curious  plants  sheltering  in  their  shadows,  and  the 
brilliant,  strong  current  of  the  stream  darting  down 
in  swift  green  chutes  between  the  spume-flecked 
boulders,  dancing  in  creamy  eddies,  struggling  to 
tumble  headlong  down  some  sparkling  cataract, 
making  the  prismatic  air  resound  with  the  soft  tinkle 
as  of  merry  laughter.  Again,  they  surge  along  in 
half  shadows,  rushing  as  if  blinded  against  massive 
abutments  of  rock,  to  be  dashed  into  spray,  gliding 
thereafter  more  smoothly,  as  if  rebuked  for  their 
previous  haste,  but  always  full  of  light,  life  and 
motion.  The  grandeur,  beauty  and  variety  of  the 
views  these  canons  make  doubly  interesting  the  re- 
flection that  through  these  gorges  poured  the  waters 
of  that  great  primal  sea  which  spread  over  Eastern. 
Colorado.  No  pen  can  fully  describe  and  no  brush 
adequately  picture  the  sublimity  and  exquisite  charm 
of  these  great  rents  in  the  mountains.  Every  turn 
of  the  stream  presents  a  new  view  until  the  eye  tires 
and  the  brain  wearies  beholding  them.  Up  through 
these  narrow  gorges  roads  have  been  blasted  out  of 
the  solid  rock  in  many  places,  over  which  carriages 
and  automobiles  pass  to  and  fro,  giving  sight-seers 
an  opportunity  at  the  smallest  expenditure  of 
physical  exercise  to  penetrate  their  sublime  recesses 
and  feast  their  eyes  on  the  grandeurs  and  beauties 
there  presented. 

On  the  east  side  of  the  great  divide,  the  South 
Platte  river,  with  about  forty  tributaries,  including 
the  Cache  la  Poudre  and  Big  Thompson  rivers, 
rises  well  up  among  the  peaks  of  the  Front,  or  Colo- 
rado range,  all  flowing  north,  northeast  and  easterly, 
drains  a  large  extent  of  country,  while  the  North 
Platte,  rising  in  the  Park  range,  drains  the  whole 
of  the  North  Park  toward  the  north.    The  Arkan- 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


sas  river,  with  its  sixty  or  more  tributaries,  some  of 
which  are  of  considerable  volume,  drains  a  large 
portion  of  the  territory  south  of  the  divide  between 
the  South  Platte  and  Arkansas  valleys.  It  heads  in 
the  high  region  of  the  Saguache  range,  interlacing 
with  springs  of  the  Grand  river,  quite  as  the  Colum- 
bia and  Missouri  rise  near  each  other  farther  north. 
Republican  river,  an  affluent  of  the  Kansas,  itself 
having  four  tributaries,  flows  northeast  down  the 
long  descent  to  its  union  with  the  main  stream,  near 
its  junction  with  the  Missouri ;  and  in  the  south  the 
Rio  Grande  del  Norte,  starting  from  the  summit  of 
the  same  range  which  feeds  the  Gunnison  branch  of 
Grand  river  on  the  opposite  side,  flows  towards  the 
Gulf  of  Mexico.  These  streams  form  the  river  sys- 
tem of  the  eastern  slope  of  Colorado.  With  all  of 
its  numerous  streams,  Colorado  is  a  dry  country. 
Her  air  has  little  humidity  in  it.  The  summer  heat 
of  the  Plains  is  excessive  by  day,  but  owing  to  the 
altitude  the  nights,  even  in  midsummer,  are  cool. 
The  summer  mean  temperature  ranges  from  64.6 
degrees  to  69.2  degrees,  and  the  winter  mean  from 
31.3  degrees  to  32.8  degrees.  The  maximum  heat 
of  summer  ranges  from  93  degrees  to  99  degrees, 
with  from  six  to  thirty  days  above  90  degrees,  and 
the  minimum  of  winter  from  3  degrees  to  12  de- 
grees, with  from  six  to  ten  days  when  the  mercury 
is  below  zero,  which  gives  an  extreme  range  for  the 
year  from  96  degrees  to  110  degrees.  The  annual 
rainfall  in  Larimer  County,  as  measured  at  the 
State  Agricultural  College  in  Fort  Collins,  averages 
about  14  inches. 

Indian  Tribes  of  Colorado 

Previous  to  the  occupation  of  Colorado  by  the 
whites,  the  Arapahoe  and  Cheyenne  Indians  held 
almost  complete  dominion  over  the  Plains  country 
for  many  miles  to  the  east  of  the  mountains,  espe- 
cially that  section  watered  by  the  Platte  and  its 
tributaries.  The  Arapahoes  made  their  home  near 
the  present  site  of  the  City  of  Denver.  Here  they 
conducted  a  sort  of  a  fair,  exchanging  articles  pro- 
cured from  the  Spanish  on  the  south  for  furs  from 
the  north.  The  word  Arapahoe  is  said  to  mean  "he 
who  buys  or  trades."  As  the  Cache  la  Poudre  valley 
seems  to  have  been  their  favorite  hunting  grounds 
they  spent  a  good  part  of  the  hunting  season  along 
the  river  and  their  tepees  were  familiar  sights  to  the 
early  explorers  and  emigrants.  Their  camping 
grounds  were  mainly  on  both  sides  of  the  river  near 
the  mouth  of  the  Boxelder  creek  and  at  or  near 
Laporte.     Antoine  Janis  says  he  found  150  lodges 


of  them  at  Laporte  when  he  located  there  in  1844. 
A  brief  sketch  of  the  history  of  these  tribes,  so  far  as 
it  is  known,  is  herewith  given.  It  is  taken  mainly 
from  Randall  Parrish's  story  of  the  Great  Plains. 
The  writer  says : 

"Leaving  the  valley  of  the  Missouri  and  moving 
westward  to  the  eastern  and  southern  base  of  the 
Black  Hills,  the  traveler  entered  the  country  of  the 
Cheyennes,  who  were  of  Algonquin  stock.  How 
long  this  people  occupied  that  district,  or  from 
whence  they  came,  is  uncertain.  That  they  were 
kindred  to  the  Arapahoes  seems  probable,  and  as 
early  as  1820  many  of  the  tribe  seceded  and  joined 
the  other.  By  1840  all  the  remainder  had  moved 
south,  whence  they  also  became  affiliated  with  their 
kindred.  Misfortune  had  made  of  them  wanderers, 
but  they  were  always  a  virile  race,  magnificent 
horsemen  and  superb  warriors.  While  ever  at  war 
with  the  Utes  who  were  known  as  mountain  In- 
dians, with  the  whites  they  were  usually  at  peace, 
although  when  they  took  the  war-path  they  proved 
dangerous  enemies.  Their  principal  traffic  was  in 
horses,  and  their  trade  led  them  to  become  great 
travelers  across  the  prairies.  Closely  associated  with 
them  in  the  earliest  days  of  white  exploration  were 
the  Kiowas,  who  were  also  a  Plains  tribe.  For  many 
years  the  Kiowa  warriors  roamed  freely  over  the  en- 
tire Arapahoe  and  Comanche  country,  extending 
from  the  South  Platte  to  the  Brazos.  Their  favorite 
rendezvous  seems  to  have  been  the  valley  of  the  Ar- 
kansas near  the  mouth  of  the  Purgatoire  river.  The 
Kiowas  were  little  known  by  name  in  the  early  fur 
trade,  but  probably  many  an  atrocity  charged  to  the 
Comanches  or  Arapahoes  was  really  committed  by 
these  wanderers.  A  late  authority  refers  to  them  as 
being  'the  most  predatory  and  blood-thirsty'  of  all 
the  prairie  tribes.  They  have  probably  killed  more 
white  men  in  proportion  to  their  numbers  than  any 
of  the  others." 

I  have  not  been  able  to  learn  that  the  Arapahoes 
ever  committed  any  serious  depredations  or  cruel 
atrocities  upon  the  white  settlers  of  Larimer  County 
beyond  the  stealing  of  horses  and  running  them  off 
when  they  thought  they  would  not  be  found  out. 
They  seemed  disposed  to  be  friendly  and  peaceable 
toward  the  whites.  Their  Chief,  Friday,  was  an 
educated  man,  having  been  taken  to  St.  Louis  when 
a  boy  and  sent  to  school,  where  he  acquired  a  knowl- 
edge of  books  and  a  wholesome  appreciation  of  the 
numbers,  strength  and  power  of  the  white  race.  He 
could  read  and  write  and  converse  quite  intelligently 
upon  most  subjects.  He  had  a  kindly  regard  for  the 
white  people,  being  wise  enough  to  know  that  they 

[15] 


HISTORY    OF    LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


belonged  to  a  superior  race  who  would  eventually 
possess  and  control  his  country.  He  gravely  ac- 
cepted the  situation  and  his  denneanor  toward  the 
whites  had  a  marked  influence  over  his  tribe. 

"There  was  a  report,"  says  Maj.  Frank  Hall  in 
his  excellent  history  of  Colorado,  "that  the  Arapa- 
hoes  were  descended  from  the  Blackfeet;  that  a 
hunting  party  accompanied  by  their  families  came 
down  from  the  north  to  the  Platte  about  eighty-five 
years  ago,  and  being  cut  off  by  a  severe  snow  storm, 
wintered  near  the  present  site  of  Denver.  The 
season  in  this  latitude  being  mild  and  pleasant,  the 
country  abounding  in  game,  and  generally  a  better 
region  to  live  in  than  the  one  they  had  left,  they  de- 
cided to  remain.  How  much  truth  there  may  be  in 
the  story,  if  any,  we  are  unable  to  say.  We  found 
them  here  and  know  that  they  roamed  the  Plains 
in  large  numbers  from  the  country  of  the  Pawnees 
to  the  base  of  the  mountains  and  down  into  the  val- 
ley of  the  Arkansas  river." 

In  1861  the  Cheyennes  and  Arapahoes  ceded  to 
the  Government  all  their  lands  east  of  the  moun- 
tains, which  included  the  eastern  part  of  Larimer 
County.  The  Indians  soon  afterwards  repudiated 
the  treaty  and  combining  with  other  Plains  tribes, 
entered  upon  and  waged  a  vicious  war  against  the 
whites  which  continued  for  several  years.  In  the 
summer  of  1864  mail  communication  with  the  East 
was  cut  off;  mail  bags  containing  letters,  money, 
drafts,  land  patents,  newspapers  and  other  miscel- 
laneous matter  were  cut  open  and  their  contents 
scattered  over  the  prairie.  But  one  station  was  left 
standing  on  the  Overland  stage  route  for  a  distance 
of  120  miles.  Trains  were  robbed,  emigrants  killed 
and  it  was  estimated  that  there  was  not  more  than 
six  weeks'  supply  of  food  in  the  Territory.  For 
thirty  days  there  had  been  no  mail  from  the  East. 
No  stages  or  emigrants  or  supply  trains  were  al- 
lowed to  move  except  under  escort.  The  situation 
was  really  critical.  Caravans  conveying  merchan- 
dise and  food  supplies  from  the  Missouri  river  to 
Denver  and  other  Colorado  towns,  all  that  were  on 
the  way  for  hundreds  of  miles,  were  seized,  their 
conductors  killed  and  the  property  appropriated. 
Early  in  September,  the  hundred  days'  regiment  was 
completed  and  dispatched  by  Colonel  Chivington  to 
points  on  the  Overland  route  to  open  communica- 
tions; while  a  portion  of  the  home-guard  under 
Henry  M.  Teller,  Major  General  of  the  militia, 
patroled  the  road  between  Denver  and  Julesburg, 
the  First  Colorado  cavalry  being  employed  chiefly 
on  the  Arkansas.  These  prompt  and  active  move- 
ments on  the  part  of  the  military  authorities  pro- 

[16] 


duced  two  results,  the  opening  of  communications 
with  the  Missouri  river  late  in  October,  and  the 
surrender  of  a  small  portion  of  the  Cheyenne  and 
Aparahoe  tribes,  who  had  hitherto  refused  to  make 
a  permanent  treaty  with  the  Superintendent  of  In- 
dian affairs.  When  the  outbreak  first  occurred. 
Governor  Evans  issued  a  proclamation  to  the 
friendly  Indians  to  repair  to  posts  which  he  named, 
to  be  taken  care  of  by  the  agents.  In  response  to 
the  invitation  175  Arapahoes,  under  Chief  Friday, 
took  up  their  residence  at  Fort  Collins  where  they 
remained  until  the  trouble  was  over.  These  In- 
dians were  camped  part  of  the  time  on  the  Coy 
farm  and  part  of  the  time  on  the  Sherwood  farm. 
F.  W.  Sherwood  was  commissioned  by  President 
Lincoln  to  supply  Chief  Friday  and  his  band  with 
food  while  they  were  here. 

The  following  story  of  a  tragedy  which  occurred 
between  two  quarrelsome  Indians  is  told  by  Mrs. 
Varah  A.  Armstrong  of  this  city,  a  daughter  of  the 
late  Captain  Geoorge  E.  Buss : 

"In  the  early  winter,  closing  the  year  1866,  Chief 
Friday's  band  of  Arapahoes,  consisting  of  a  few 
lodges,  lived  a  few  rods  up  the  river  from  the 
Sherwood  ranch.  A  much  larger  band  of  Chey- 
ennes camped  on  top  of  the  bluff  across  the  river, 
near  the  home  of  'Ranger'  Jones.  They  were  led 
by  a  chief  named  Spotted  Tail. 

"Friday  had  a  son  whom  he  called  Jake,  a  hot- 
headed, quarrelsome  fellow,  with  a  keen  appetite 
for  bad  whiskey.  He  and  some  of  the  other  young 
braves  visited  the  Cheyenne  camp,  got  into  a  quar- 
rel and  Jake  killed  Spotted  Tail. 

"Thus,  for  a  brief  time,  the  few  settlers  were 
menaced  by  the  horrors  of  an  Indian  war,  but  Fri- 
day, knowing  that  he  could  not  hope  to  win,  told 
his  son  to  go  away,  which  he  did,  taking  his  three 
wives  with  him. 

"A  few  days  after  the  tragedy,  my  father  was 
building  a  log  barn  and  he  borrowed  a  cross-cut 
saw,  with  which  he  and  my  mother  were  cutting 
out  the  doorway.  Three  or  four  Cheyennes  came 
down  and  sat  around  watching  operations.  My 
father  told  my  mother  to  stop  and  he  signed  for 
one  of  the  Indians  to  take  hold  of  the  handle,  and 
the  Son  of  the  Wilds  made  a  very  fair  hand  for  the 
short  time  that  it  took  to  finish  the  job.  When 
they  stopped  to  rest,  my  father  said,  'What  did  you 
do  with  Spotted  Tail?'  The  Indian  stooped,  and 
with  his  hand  scooped  out  a  little  hollow  in  the  soil 
to  show  that  they  had  buried  him,  and  my  mother 
said  there  were  tears  in  his  eyes. 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER        COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


"The  next  June,  when  the  river  was  an  im- 
passable torrent,  one  day  the  Jones  signaled  for 
the  boat  that  was  kept  for  use  by  the  two  families. 
A  little  Crow  Indian  boy  was  frantically  waving 
his  blanket,  and  when  he  had  been  ferried  across, 
and  considered  himself  safe  from  pursuit,  he  told 
Friday's  band  how  he  had  been  held  as  a  slave  by 
Jake  and  his  wives;  how  the  party  had  started  to 
return  to  the  home  camping  grounds  on  the  Poudre, 
of  their  seeing  another  band  of  Indians  in  the  dis- 
tance ;  of  Jake  waving  a  white  flag  to  which  the 
advancing  party  paid  no  attention.  When  they 
were  near  enough  to  recognize  their  quarry,  they 
began  singing  the  death  song.  The  little  Crow 
knew  what  that  meant.  All  started  to  flee.  One 
of  Jake's  wives  rode  a  lazy  pony  and  begged  the 
little  Crow  to  run  behind  and  whip  the  horse,  but 
he  was  intent  on  saving  himself,  which  he  suc- 
ceeded in  doing.  It  is  quite  possible  the  Cheyennes 
did  not  try  to  capture  him  after  taking  vengeance 
on  Jake  and  his  family.  As  no  other  word  ever 
came  to  the  Poudre  country,  it  is  not  known  in 
what  way  they  met  their  deaths.  It  must  always 
be  one  of  the  secrets  of  'The  Lone  Prairie.'  " 

The  Cheyennes  and  Arapahoes  hated  the  Utes 
with  bitter  hatred,  and  the  latter  just  as  intensely 
hated  the  former  tribes.  The  Cheyennes  and 
Arapahoes  were  Plains  tribes  and  the  Utes  a  Moun- 
tain tribe.  The  Plains  Indians  could  do  nothing 
except  on  horseback;  the  Utes,  though  owning 
and  valuing  ponies,  was  essentially  a  foot  tribe.  A 
single  Indian  of  either  tribe  on  his  own  ground 
counted  himself  equal  to  three  of  his  enemies.  The 
Utes  sometimes  wandered  on  the  Plains  raiding  the 
camps  of  their  enemies  and  driving  off  their  ponies 
when  they  thought  the  situation  and  condition 
favorable,  but  it  was  with  fear  and  trembling. 
The  Plains  Indians  seldom  ventured  at  all  into  any 
country  so  broken  as  to  prevent  them  operating  to 
advantage  on  horseback.  Though  constantly  at 
war  with  each  other,  few  were  killed  in  their  bat- 
tles, because  neither  would  venture  far  into  the 
domain  of  the  other. 

Speaking  of  the  Indian  trouble  of  1864-5,  Gen- 
eral Frank  Hall  in  his  history  of  Colorado  says: 
"On  one  occasion  a  merchandise  train  was  attacked 
on  the  Cache  la  Poudre  emigrant  road  near  the 
Colorado  line,  the  men  attending  it  killed,  and  the 
train  destroyed.  One  of  the  attaches  was  cap- 
tured alive,  and  after  being  cruelly  tortured  was 
bound  with  chains  to  a  wagon  wheel,  his  arms  and 
legs  stretched  out,  large  quantities  of  brush  piled 
up  around  him  and  fired.     As  the  flames  executed 


their  hellish  purpose,  the  Indians  danced  and 
howled  about  him  in  savage  glee  until  he  was 
burned  to  a  cinder." 

The  Trappers  the  True  Pathfinders 

Most  of  the  operations  of  the  organized  fur  com- 
panies were  carried  on  in  the  West  through  traders 
and  trappers  located  at  central  points  in  Western 
Wyoming  and  Eastern  Idaho.  They  had  extensive 
headquarters,  depots  and  camps  on  Green,  Snake 
and  Yellowstone  rivers  at  which  they  carried  on 
an  enormous  trade  with  the  Indians  and  from 
which  these  trappers  were  sent  out  into  the  moun- 
tain wilds  to  snare  beaver  and  other  fur-bearing 
animals.  Yet  there  Is  much  in  the  records  pre- 
served, incomplete  and  defective  as  they  are,  in  con- 
nection with  other  evidence,  which  go  to  prove  that 
every  important  stream  in  Larimer  County  had 
been  explored  and  worked  by  Independent  trappers 
as  early  as  in  the  first  half  of  the  nineteenth  cen- 
tury. Remains  of  their  camps  and  cabins  were 
found  on  the  borders  of  these  streams  by  the  early 
settlers,  and  Fremont  declares  in  his  report  of  his 
second  expedition  that  he  expected  to  find  trappers 
who  were  known  to  have  been  In  this  region,  to  act 
as  guides  in  conducting  him  through  the  passes  of 
the  mountains  west  of  here,  but  that  they  had  all 
disappeared,  having  probably  been  killed  by  the  In- 
dians. Referring  to  these  trappers,  Randall  Par- 
rish,  in  his  Interesting  work  on  the  "Great  Plains," 
says: 

"While  the  Government  was  virtually  neglecting 
this  western  region  of  the  plains,  private  enterprise 
had  been  slowly  prying  open  its  secrets,  and  indi- 
viduals were  finding  their  uncertain  way  along  its 
water-courses,  or  across  Its  sun-browned  prairie. 
The  fur  trade  was  the  powerful  magnet  which  thus 
early  drew  westward  hardy  adventurers  by  the 
score.  Very  few  of  the  names  of  those  who  first 
trod  the  plains  have  been  preserved  even  upon  the 
records  of  the  great  fur  companies.  They  were 
generally  obscure,  illiterate  men,  possessing  little 
except  their  rifles  and  traps,  living  for  long  years  in 
the  depths  of  the  wilderness,  only  occasionally  ap- 
pearing amid  the  haunts  of  pioneer  civilization  with 
their  packs  of  furs.  Sometimes  they  traveled  in  in- 
dependent parties  for  protection  against  Indian 
treachery;  some  were  free  trappers,  others  were  en- 
rolled upon  the  lists  of  organized  fur  companies  and 
worked  under  orders.  In  either  case  they  neces- 
sarily had  hard,  wild  lives,  continually  filled  with 
adventure  and  personal  peril.     These  men,  roughly 

[17] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


clothed,  living  on  game,  their  safety  constantly 
menaced,  were  the  true  western  pathfinders,  dig- 
ging continuously  deeper  year  by  year  into  the  vast 
wilderness,  and  from  their  ranks  came  those  com- 
petent guides  who  were  later  to  lead  organized  ex- 
peditions to  the  Western  ocean.  During  the  forty 
years  following  the  purchase  of  Louisiana  by  the 
United  States  the  people  of  the  East  possessed 
hardly  the  slightest  conception  of  its  immense 
value.  The  one  considerable  commercial  attrac- 
tion it  offered  during  this  period  was  its  wealth  of 
furs,  and  during  nearly  half  a  century  this  was  its 
sole  business  of  importance.  In  the  language  of 
Chittenden,  introducing  his  history  of  the  Ameri- 
can fur  trade: 

"The  nature  of  the  business  determined  the 
character  of  the  early  white  population.  It  was 
the  roving  trader  and  the  solitary  white  trapper 
who  first  sought  out  these  inhospitable  wilds,  traced 
their  streams  to  their  sources,  scaled  the  mountain 
passes,  and  explored  a  boundless  expanse  of  terri- 
tory where  the  foot  of  white  man  had  never 
trodden  before.  The  far  west  became  a  field  of 
romantic  adventure,  and  developed  a  class  of  men 
who  loved  the  wandering  career  of  the  native  in- 
habitant rather  than  the  toilsome  lot  of  the  indus- 
trious colonists.  The  type  of  life  thus  developed, 
though  essentially  evanescent  and  not  representing 
any  profound  national  movement,  was  nevertheless 
a  distinct  and  necessary  phase  in  the  growth  of  this 
new  country.  Abounding  in  incidents  picturesque 
and  heroic,  its  annals  inspire  an  interest  akin  to  that 
which  belongs  to  the  age  of  knight-errantry,  for  the 
fur  hunter  of  the  west  was,  in  his  rough  way,  a 
good  deal  of  a  knight-errant.  Caparisoned  in  the 
wild  attire  of  the  Indian  and  armed  cap-a-pie  for 
instant  combat,  he  roamed  far  and  wide  over 
deserts  and  mountains,  gathering  the  scattered 
wealth  of  those  regions,  slaying  ferocious  beasts 
and  savage  men,  and  leading  a  life  in  which  every 
footstep  was  beset  with  enemies  and  every  moment 
pregnant  with  peril.  The  great  proportion  of  these 
intrepid  spirits  who  laid  down  their  lives  in  that 
far  country  is  impressive  proof  of  the  jeopardy  of 
their  existence.  All  in  all,  the  period  of  this  ad- 
venturous business  may  justly  be  considered  the 
romantic  era  of  the  west. 

"So  valuable  was  this  preliminary  work  in  ex- 
ploration that  the  historian  of  the  movement  is 
fully  justified  in  the  statement  that  these  often  un- 
known men  were  the  true  pathfinders,  and  not  the 
official  explorers  who  came  later,  yet  have  been  ac- 
corded    the     proud     title.       Nothing    in     western 

[18] 


geography  was  ever  discovered  by  government  ex- 
plorations after  1840.  It  was  every  mile  of  it 
known  previously  to  trader  and  trapper.  Brlgham 
Young  was  led  to  the  valley  of  the  Great  Salt  Lake 
by  information  furnished  by  men  like  Jim  Baker, 
Jim  Bridger,  Kit  Carson  and  their  colleagues;  in 
the  war  with  Mexico  the  military  forces  were 
guided  by  those  who  knew  every  trail  and  moun- 
tain pass;  they  were  veterans  of  the  fur  trade  who 
pointed  Fremont  the  way  to  the  Pacific,  and  when 
the  rush  of  emigration  finally  set  in  toward  Ore- 
gon and  California  the  very  earliest  of  these  trav- 
elers found  already  made  for  them  a  highway 
across  the  continent." 

A  Story  of  Colorado  Told  in  Short 
Paragraphs 

The  first  American  (Anglo-Saxon)  who  ven- 
tured into  the  wilds  of  Colorado,  then  a  part  of 
Louisiana  Territory,  was  James  Pursley  (or  Pur- 
cell),  a  Kentuckian,  who  spent  some  time  on  the 
Plains  and  in  the  mountains  in  1804  or  about  that 
time. 

The  first  United  States  officer  to  lead  an  expe- 
dition to  Colorado  was  Captain  Pike.  They  trav- 
eled up  the  Arkansas  valley  and  penetrated  the 
Rockies  in  1806-7. 

The  first  white  men  (American  citizens)  who 
traversed  the  site  of  Denver,  in  1820,  were  Dr. 
Edwin  James  and  other  members  of  Long's  expe- 
dition. 

The  first  men  to  scale  the  summit  of  Pike's  Peak 
were  James  and  two  companions,  who  tramped  to 
the  top  July  14,  1820.  The  first  woman  to  ascend 
the  peak  was  Mrs.  Julia  A.  Holmes,  in  July,  1858. 

The  first  house  built  by  whites  was  erected  by 
Maj.  Jacob  Fowler  and  other  trappers  near 
Pueblo,  Jan.  3-5,  1822. 

The  first  permanent  white  settler  in  Colorado 
was  William  Bent,  who,  in  1824,  had  temporary 
quarters  about  twenty  miles  west  of  the  present  site 
of  Pueblo;  he  founded  a  trading  post  there  in  1826. 

The  first  fort  was  built,  in  1828-32,  by  the  Bent 
brothers  and  Ceran  St.  Vrain  on  the  Arkansas 
river.  It  was  called  Bent's  fort,  and  stood  about 
half  way  between  the  present  towns  of  Las  Animas 
and  La  Junta.  In  1852  it  was  destroyed  by  its 
owner.  Col.  William  Bent. 

The  first  settlement  or  trading  post  at  the  forks 
where  Pueblo  stands  was  made  in  1842  by  James 
P.  Beckworth  (a  noted  frontiersman)  and  a  num- 
ber  of   trappers    and    hunters — Americans,    French 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY,    COLORADO 


and  Mexicans — who  built  a  rude  adobe  structure, 
sometimes  called  "Fort  Napeste"  and  the  "The 
Pueblo."  The  place  had  a  floating  population  for 
a  dozen  years. 

The  first  American  settler  in  Northwestern  Colo- 
rado was  Jim  Baker,  of  Illinois,  who  came  to  the 
Rocky  Mountain  country  about  1836  and  erected  a 
log  cabin,  in  the  early  '40s,  near  the  north  border 
of  Routt  county. 

The  first  military  post  for  United  States  troops  in 
Colorado  was  Fort  Massachusetts,  a  log  affair  at 
the  base  of  Sierra  Blanca,  established  in  1852.  Fort 
Garland  was  built  nearby  in  1858. 

The  first  party  of  gold  seekers  who  prospected 
Colorado  within  the  memory  of  men  was  that  of 
the  Cherokees,  who  are  said  to  have  looked  for 
placer  gold  along  the  Cache  la  Poudre,  near  the 
foot  of  the  mountains,  in  August,  1849.  To  these 
Cherokees  belongs  the  credit  of  originating  the  so- 
called  Green-Russell  expedition  that  discovered 
float  gold  near  the  site  of  Denver  in  the  month  of 
July,  1858. 

The  first  important  discovery  of  gold  was  made 
by  a  party  of  Georgians  led  by  Russell,  in  July, 
1858.  They  prospected  Fountain  creek.  Cherry 
creek,  the  South  Platte  river  and  other  streams. 
They  obtained  about  $500  worth  of  gold  dust  in 
the  sands  of  the  Platte  and  Dry  creek,  a  little 
distance  south  of  Denver.  The  camp  of  prospectors 
and  miners  that  grew  up  near  the  confluence  of 
Cherry  creek  and  the  Platte  was  the  beginning  of 
Denver. 

The  first  discovery  of  silver  by  Americans,  in 
1860,  was  made  in  Clear  Creek  County.  The  first 
paying  silver  mine  was  the  Piquot  Belmont  lode  on 
Mount  McClellan,  discovered  and  opened  in  Sep- 
tember, 1864,  by  Robert  W.  Steele,  James  Huif 
and  Robert  Layton. 

The  first  hostelry,  called  the  "Denver  House," 
was  put  up  early  in  1859.  It  was  constructed  of 
Cottonwood  logs,  and  had  at  the  start  a  canvas  roof. 

The  first  child  claiming  Denver  as  its  native 
place  was  William  D.  McGaa,  born  March  3, 
1859. 

The  first  stage  reached  Denver  May  7,  1859.  It 
was  a  big  Concord  coach,  drawn  by  a  six-mule 
team.  It  came  from  Leavenworth  via  Fort  Riley, 
across  the  heads  of  Beaver,  Bijou  and  Kiowa 
creeks.  The  length  of  the  stage  route  then  was 
687  miles;  fare  $100,  meals  included. 

The  first  attempt  at  political  organization  was 
the  provisional  government  of  the  "Territory  of 
Jefferson,"   called   into  being  in   November,    1859. 


This  spontaneous  commonwealth  had  a  brief  exist- 
ence, being  superseded  by  Colorado  Territory  in 
1861. 

The  first  Governor  of  Colorado  Territory  was 
William  Gilpin,  of  Missouri,  who  was  appointed  by 
President  Lincoln  March  22,  1861. 

The  first  Federal  census  of  the  Territory  was 
taken  in  the  summer  of  1861,  showing  a  population 
of  25,331. 

The  first  sawmill  was  built  on  Plum  creek,  not 
far  from  Denver,  by  D.  C.  Oakes,  late  in  the 
spring  of  1859. 

The  first  frame  house  put  up  in  Denver  was 
built  for  the  residence  of  "Uncle  Dick"  Wooton  in 
the  summer  of  1859. 

The  first  Chief  Justice  of  the  Supreme  Court  of 
the  new  Territory  was  Benjamin  F.  Hall,  ap- 
pointed March  25,  1861. 

The  first  Superintendent  of  Public  Instruction 
was  William  J.  Curtice,  appointed  by  Governor 
Gilpin  in  1861. 

The  first  delegate  to  represent  Colorado  in  Con- 
gress was  Hiram  P.  Bennet. 

The  first  session  of  the  first  legislative  assem- 
bly was  held  in  the  fall  of  1861  at  Denver. 

The  first  seventeen  counties  of  Colorado  Terri- 
tory were  Arapahoe,  Boulder,  Clear  Creek,  Cone- 
jos, Costilla,  Douglas,  El  Paso,  Fremont,  Gilpin, 
Huerfano,  Jefferson,  Lake,  Larimer,  Park,  Pueblo, 
Summit  and  Weld.  These  counties  were  created 
by  act  of  the  First  Territorial  Legislature,  ap- 
proved Nov.  1,  1861. 

The  first  capital  was  Colorado  City.  The  Terri- 
torial Legislature  met  there  four  days  in  1862,  and 
then  adjourned  to  Denver. 

The  first  flag  was  made  by  the  patriotic  women 
of  Denver  for  the  First  Colorado  regiment  of  volun- 
teers, organized  in  1861. 

The  first  private  school  was  opened  by  Prof.  O. 
J.  Goldrick,  Oct.  3,  1859,  with  thirteen  children. 
The  pupils,  two  of  them  half-breeds,  gathered  in  a 
little  log  cabin  on  the  west  bank  of  Cherry  creek. 
Miss  Indiana  Sopris  was  Denver's  first  "school- 
marm." 

The  first  schoolhouse  proper  was  a  one-room 
frame  building  erected  at  Boulder  in  1860.  The 
organized  public  school  system  of  Colorado  had  its 
beginning  in  1861. 

The  first  meeting  of  the  Colorado  Teachers'  As- 
sociation was  held  in  1875. 

The  first  school  of  higher  learning  was  "Colo- 
rado  Seminary,"  opened  in   1864.     That  was  the 


[19] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY,    COLORADO 


beginning  of  the  University  of  Denver.     The  same 
year  Loretto  Academy  was  started. 

The  first  school  of  the  University  of  Colorado 
was  opened  in  Boulder,  in  1875. 

The  first  newspaper  appeared  at  Denver,  April 
23,  1859. 

The  first  daily  was  the  Rocky  Mountain  Herald. 
The  first  number  was  published  May  13,  1860. 

The  first  Denver  theater  was  opened  in  Apollo 
Hall,  October,  1859. 

The  first  Denver  jail  was  a  log  cabin  on  the 
west  side  of  Cherry  creek.  It  was  rented  by  the 
Sheriff  for  the  purpose,  and  prisoners  were  first 
confined  in  it  about  Jan.  1,  1862. 

The  first  Masonic  lodge  was  started  in  Denver 
in  January,  1859. 

The  first  Mayor  of  Denver  was  Charles  A.  Cook. 
The  city  was  incorporated  Nov.  18,  1861. 

The  first  irrigation  in  Colorado  was  done  by 
David  K.  Wall  at  Golden,  in  1859. 

The  first  crop  of  alfalfa  was  raised  in  1863  on 
the  ranch  of  Capt.  Jacob  Downing,  who  got  the 
seed  from  Mexico. 

The  first  grasshopper  plague  was  in  1864. 

The  first  telegraph  line  was  completed  to  Denver 
April  17,  1863. 

The  First  National  bank  was  organized  at  Den- 
ver April  17,  1865. 

The  first  bridge  over  the  Platte  was  built  in 
1865.     It  stood  near  the  mouth  of  Cherry  creek. 

The  first  meeting  of  the  Pioneers'  Association, 
composed  only  of  the  immigrants  of  1858  and  1859, 
was  held  June  22,  1866. 

The  first  smelter  was  opened  at  Black  Hawk  in 
January,  1868. 

The  first  German  colony  was  planted  in  the 
Wet  Mountain  valley  in  1870. 

The  first  extensive  irrigation  system  was  con- 
structed by  the  Union  colonists  near  Greeley,  be- 
tween 1870  and  1875. 

The  first  railroad,  the  Denver  Pacific,  was  built 
from  Cheyenne  to  Denver,  in  1870.  The  first  train 
of  the  Kansas  Pacific  entered  the  Queen  City  of  the 
Plains  on  Aug.  15,  1870. 

The  first  rail  of  the  Denver  &  Rio  Grande  was 
laid  July  28,  1871. 

The  first  street  car  was  set  in  motion  at  Denver 
Dec.  17,  1871.  Horse  cars  were  superseded  by 
cable  and  trolley  lines  in  1888  and  1889. 

The  first  gas  works  were  erected  at  Denver  in 
1870.     Electric  lights  were  introduced  in  1880. 

[20] 


The  first  notable  discovery  of  cliflE  dwellings  was 
made  in  1874  by  W.  H.  Jackson  and  his  compan- 
ions, of  the  Hayden  Geological  Survey. 

The  first  election  for  State  officers  was  held  Oct. 
3,  1876. 

The  first  Governor  of  the  Centennial  state  was 
John  L.  Routt. 

The  first  State  Legislature  met  at  Denver,  Nov. 
1,  1876. 

The  first  member  of  Congress  from  Colorado  was 
James  B.  Bel  ford. 

The  first  Senators  were  Jerome  B.  Chaffee  and 
Henry  M.  Teller. 

The  first  passenger  train  ascended  Pike's  Peak, 
June  30,  1891. 

The  first  specimens  of  the  purple  columbine  were 
gathered  on  the  Divide  by  soldiers  of  Long's  expe- 
dition in  July,  1820.  It  became  the  State  flower 
in  1890. 

The  first  Colorado  sugar  factory  was  erected  at 
Grand  Junction  in  1899.  The  same  year  a  sugar 
factory  was  built  at  Rocky  Ford. 

The  first  Flag  day  was  celebrated  by  the  public 
schools  of  Denver  on  June  14,  1894. 

The  first  celebration  of  Colorado  day  was  held 
on  Aug.  1,  1908,  the  thirty-second  anniversary  of 
the  admission  of  the  Centennial  State. 

The  first  Catholic  church  in  what  is  now  Colo- 
rado was  built  on  the  Conejos  river,  in  1858.  The 
first  Catholic  school  was  opened  at  Denver  in  1863. 

The  first  sermon  preached  in  Denver  was  deliv- 
ered by  George  Fisher  some  Sunday  in  the  winter 
of  1858-59.  The  first  service  conducted  by  Rev. 
Jacob  Adriance  was  held  at  Auraria,  July  5,  1859. 

The  first  Methodist  Episcopal  church  in  Colo- 
rado was  started  at  Central  City  in  July,  1859. 
The  first  church  society  organized  by  the  Metho- 
dists in  Denver  dates  back  to  August,  1859;  it 
afterward  became  Trinity  M.  E.  church.  The  first 
service  in  Trinity  church  was  held  July  5,  1888. 

The  first  Protestant  Episcopal  church  in  Colo- 
rado was  founded  in  Denver,  Jan.  21,  1860.  The 
first  rector  of  the  congregation  was  Rev.  J.  H. 
Kehler,  of  Virginia,  who  conducted  the  first  service 
on  Jan.  23,  1860,  in  the  Union  school-house  at 
Cherry  creek  and  McGaa  street. 

The  first  meeting  of  Jews  was  held  in  Denver  on 
a  summer  evening  of  1860.  The  first  synagogue 
was  built  in  1873  by  the  society  now  worshiping  in 
Temple  Emanuel. 

The  first  Baptist  church  in  Colorado  was  organ- 
ized at  Golden,  Aug.  1,  1863;  the  first  pastor  was 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


Rev.  William  Whitehead.  The  First  Baptist 
church  of  Denver  was  founded  May  2,  1864. 

The  first  meeting  of  Unitarians  was  held  in  Den- 
ver, May  31,  1871;  the  first  Unitarian  church  was 
dedicated  Dec.  28,  1873;  the  second  church  (the 
new  Unity  church)  was  dedicated  Sept.  4,  1889. 

The  first  church  of  the  Disciples  of  Christ  was 
started  at  Golden  in  1872. 

Colorado's  Growth  in  Three  Decades 

The  population  of  Colorado  by  counties,  as 
shown  by  the  United  States  census  of  1910,  com- 
pared with  the  census  returns  for  1890  and  1900, 
follows : 


County—  1910 

Adams  8,892 

Arapahoe    10,263 

Archuleta    3,302 

Baca 2,516 

Bent   5,043 

Boulder    30,330 

Chaflfee   7,622 

Cheyenne    3,667 

Clear   Creek 5,001 

Conejos    11,285 

Costilla   5,498 

Custer  1,947 

Delta    13,688 

Denver    213,381 

Dolores    642 

Douglas 3,192 

Eagle  2,985 

El   Paso 43,321 

Elbert 5,331 

Fremont 18,181 


1900 

1890 

Increase 

163,017 

32,135 

2,117 

626 

1,185 

759 

1,479 

1,757 

3,049 

1,313 

1,994 

21,544 

14,082 

8,786 

7,085 

6,612 

537 

501 

534 

3,166 

7,082 

7,784 

8,794 

7,193 

2,491 

4,632 

3,491 

866 

2,937 

2,970 

5,487 

2,534 

8,201 

1,134 

1,498 

3,120 

3,006 

72 

3,008 

3,725 

31,602 

21,239 

11,719 

3,101 

1,856 

2,230 

15,636 

9,156 

2,545 

Garfield    10,144 

Gilpin  4,131 

Grand     1,862 

Gunnison    5,897 

Hinsdale    646 

Huerfano    13,320 

Jackson    1,013 

Jefferson    14,231 

Kiowa   2,899 

Kit   Carson 7,483 

La   Plata 10,812 

Lake    10,600 

Larimer     25,270 

Las    Animas 33,643 

Lincoln    5,917 

Logan    9,574 

Mesa    22,197 

Mineral    1,339 

Montezuma    5,029 

Montrose   10,291 

Morgan  9,577 

Otero    20,201 

Ouray    3,514 

Park   2,492 

Phillips    3,179 

Pitkin    4,566 

Prowers    9,520 

Pueblo    52,223 

Rio    Grande 6,563 

Rio   Blanco 2,332 

Routt    7,561 

Saguache    ." .  4,160 

San   Juan 3,063 

San    Miguel 4,700 

Sedgwick    3,061 

Summit    2,003 

Teller    14,351 

Washington    6,002 

Weld    39,177 

Yuma    8,499 

Totals    799,024 


5,835 

4,478 

4,289 

6,690 

5,867 

741 

604 

1,121 

5,331 

4,359 

566 

1,609 

862 

8,395 

6,882 

4,915 

9,306 

8,450 

4,925 

701 

1,243 

2,198 

1,580 

2,472 

5,903 

7,016 

5,509 

3,796 

18,054 

14,663 

12,168 

9,712 

13,102 

21,842 

17,208 

11,801 

926 

689 

4,991 

3,292 

3,070 

6,257 

9,267 

4,260 

12,930 

1,913 

3,058 

1,529 

1,971 

4,535 

3,980 

5,756 

3,268 

1,601 

6,309 

11,522 

4,192 

8,679 

4,731 

6,510 

2,998 

3,548 

1,583 

2,642 

1,596 

7,020 

8,929 

3,766 

1,969 

3,754 

34,448 

31,491 

17,775 

4,080 

3,451 

2,483 

1,690 

1,200 

643 

3,661 

2,369 

3,900 

3,853 

3,313 

307 

2,342 

1,572 

721 

5,379 

2,909 

971 

1,293 

2,090 

2,744 

1,906 

29,002 

1,241 

2,301 

4,761 

16,808 

11,736 

22,369 

1,729 

2,596 

6,770 

539,700     259,324 


48 


Agricultural  Products  of  Colorado  and  Their  Value  in  1910,  Compared  With  1900 


Production  1910 

Sugar    beets 806,000  tons 

Potatoes    6,400,000  bu. 

Hay    1,338,000  tons 

Wheat   8,721,000  bu. 

Oats    , 7,898,00  bu. 

Corn     2,846,000  bu. 

Barley    864,000  bu. 

Jiye  56,000  bu. 

Beet    sugar 195,100,000  lbs. 

Poultry  and  eggs 

Butter  and  milk 

Vegetables   (except  hot  house) 

Live  stock  production 


Grand  total 

•Includes  "forage  production."     **Estimated. 


Value 
$  4,375,000 
3,520,000 
14,448,400 
7,351,220 
3,633,080 
1,707,600 
518,400 
37,520 
8,282,500 
2,160,771** 
9,479,000** 
3,000,000** 
31,235,000 

$89,748,491 


Production  1900 

6,656  tons 

4,465,746  bu. 

1,647,321  tons* 

5,587,744  bu. 

3,080,130  bu. 

1,272,680  bu. 

531,240  bu. 

26,180  bu. 

1,597,440  lbs.** 


$ 


Value 

26,711 
1,717,111 
8,159,279* 
2,809,370 
1,121,745 
508,488 
246,510 
13,876 
67,891** 
1,440,514 
6,752,513** 
1,131,950 
16,077,988 


Inc.  in  Value 

$  4,348,289 

1,802,889 

6,289,121 

4,541,850 

2,511,335 

1,199,112 

271,890 

23,644 

8,214,609 

720,257 

2,726,487 

1,868,050 

15,157,012 


$40,073,945         $49,674,545 


Colorado  Fruit  Production  in  1910 

Cars  Value 

Apples    2,536        $1,410,497 

Peaches    1,136  636,527 


Cantaloupes 1,179 

Other    fruits 372 


Total    5,223 


381,698 
457,655 

$2,886,397 
[21] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


Total  Value  of  Fruit  Crop 

Fruit    shipped $2,886,397.00 

Consumed  at  home  (estimated).. ." 577,279.40 

Total  fruit  crop $3,463,676.40 

Value  of  Canned  Fruit 

1910   OUTPUT  OF  COLORADO   CANNING   FACTORIES 

Apples   $31,125 

Cherries   ; 11,994 

Other   fruits 18,628 

Total    $61,747 


Extent  of  Colorado's  Beet  Sugar 
Industry  in  1910 

Tons  beets  paid  for  during  1910 806,000 

Money  paid  farmers $  4,375,000 

Money  paid  for  factory  labor ^ 1,285,000 

Money  paid  field  labor 1,613,000 

Money  spent  by  factories  for  supplies 1,031,000 

Sugar  output  in  pounds 195,100,000 

Men  employed  during  campaign 4,180 

Men  employed  during  inter-campaign 525  to  1,025 

Value  of  sugar  produced $  8,282,500 

Tons  of  pulp  produced 358,530 

Acres  of  beets  harvested 73,228 

Average  tonnage  per  acre 11 

Average  gross  revenue  per  acre  (including  beet 

tops)    $64.50 

(This  gross  revenue  per  acre,  including  beet 
tops,  ranges  from  $50  to  $135,  depending 
upon  the  energy  and  ability  of  the  grower, 
the  quality  of  the  soil  and  the  amount  of 
water.) 

Average  expenses  per  acre $35  to  $40 

Average  net  revenue  per  acre $24.50-29.50 

Money  invested  in  factories $18,250,000 

Number  of  factories  in  the  state 16 

Average  sugar  content,  1910 15.81% 

Average  sugar  content,  1909 14.96% 

Irrigated,  Irrigable,  Non-Irrigable 
and  Forest  Lands  in  Colo- 
rado, 1910 

Acres 

Area  of  state 66,526,720 

Land    66,341,120 

Water 185,600 

Area  in  national  forests 15,554,115 

Arable    land 22,400,000 

Mountainous    43,755,520 

Under   canals 2,894,000 

Probable  limit  of  irrigated  land 4,500,000 

Under  canals  actually  irrigated 2,262,070 

Area  intended  to  be  irrigated  by  schemes  under 

way   2,528,747 

Already  irrigated  by  uncompleted  schemes 262,070 

Principal  Watersheds 

Acreage  irrigated  by  South  Platte  and  branches. . .   900,000 
Acreage  irrigated  by  Arkansas  and  branches 525,000 

[22] 


Acreage  irrigated  by  Rio  Grande  and  branches...   450,000 
Acreage  irrigated  by  Grand  and  branches 375,000 

Number  and  Value  of  Live  Stock  in 


Colorado  Jan.  1,  1911 


Number 
Range  cattle.1,091,000 
Dairy  cattle.    298,000 

Hogs    419,000 

Sheep   1,610,000 

Horses 306,000 

Mules    16,300 


-1911 

Value 

$30,548,000 

10,238,000 

4,261,000 

3,941,000 

28,236,000 

1,684,000 


Number 

1,113,100 

192,700 

561,000 

1,868,500 

279,000 

15,300 


-1910- 


Value 
$30,051,000 
7,132,000 
5,690,000 
5,604,000 
25,170,000 
1,560,000 


Totals    ...3,731,000     $78,908,000     4,030,000     $75,207,000 

Comparative  Mineral  Output 

1910                1909  1908 

Gold   .'.$20,397,888     $21,921,291     $22,312,865 

Silver    4,661,684         4,796,409  5,610,845 

Lead    3,365,989        2,584,570  3,079,988 

Copper    1,136,304         1,640,619  258,962 

Zinc   4,191,783         2,825,482  2,016,740 

Totals    $33,773,638     $33,768,371     $33,279,400 

Miles  of  Railroad  Operated  in 
Colorado,  Jan.  1,  1911 

Main          Side  Total 

Roads —                                        Line         Track  Miles 

Denver  &  Rio  Grande 1,848            600  2,448 

Colorado  &  Southern 802             300  1,102 

Union    Pacific 574            195  769 

Atchison,  Topeka  &  Santa  Fe...    447            260  707 

Burlington   400             170  570 

Colorado    Midland 260              80  340 

Moffat  Road 214              45  259 

Rock    Island 167              22  189 

Missouri   Pacific 152              38  190 

Colorado  &  Vi^yoming 82                 2  84 

Cripple  Creek  Central 83              47  130 

Great   Western 56               11  67 

Uintah  Railway 51                2  53 

Denver,  Laramie  &  Northwestern      60                 8  68 

Argentine   Central 16                2  18 

Colorado      Springs      &      Cripple 

Creek   61               25  86 

San  Luis  Southern 32                3  35 

Joint     track      (Denver     &     Rio 

Grande     and     Colorado     & 

Southern)    double 20               20  40 

Manitou  &  Pike's  Peak 9                1  10 

Denver,  Boulder  &  Western....      47                4  51 

Colorado  &  Southeastern 6              11  17 

Colorado  Eastern 18           ....  18 

Totals    5,405          1,846  7,251 

Lines  to  Be  Built  in  1911 

Union  Pacific  (Denver-Fort  Morgan)  . .  .85  $  2,550,000 
Union  Pacific  (Denver-Fort  Collins,  via 

Dent,  grading  completed 26  780,000 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY,    COLORADO 


Laramie,  Hahn's  Park  &  Pacific  (grad- 
ing   progress) 57  1,500,000 

Colorado  &  Southern  (Cheyenne  to  Well- 
ington)   grading 30  900,000 

Burlington  (Hudson  to  Greeley) 26  780,000 

Denver  &  Rio  Grande  (second  main 
track)    10  250,000 


Denver    &   Rio    Grande    and    C.    &    S. 

(joint  double  track) 27  2,500,000 

San  Luis  Southern 22  550,000 

Denver,  Laramie  &  Northvyestern 50  1,275,000 

Total    333  $11,085,000 


Early  Expeditions  &f  Explorations 


Spanish  Traversed  County  in  1720 

Probably  the  first  time  that  ever  Larimer  county 
was  traversed  by  white  men  was  in  1720,  when  a 
Spanish  military  force  crossed  the  county,  all  the 
way  from  Santa  Fe,  New  Mexico,  to  the  Yellow- 
stone river,  and  which  was  destroyed  by  the  In- 
dians. This  expedition  followed  the  base  of  the 
mountains  and  therefore  crossed  the  county  from 
south  to  north.  It  went  in  search  of  gold  to  en- 
rich the  coffers  of  the  Spanish  throne,  and  there 
is  evidence  that  mining  had  been  extensively  car- 
ried on  near  the  head  waters  of  the  Yellowstone. 
Traces  of  iron  tools,  partly  devoured  by  rust,  were 
found  as  late  as  1874;  the  line  of  a  former  ditch 
to  convey  water  upon  the  bars  and  some  other  indi- 
cations which  lead  to  the  conclusion  that  the 
Spanish  adventurers  had  gained  a  foothold  in  the 
region,  but  had  perished  there  while  in  the  realiza- 
tion of  their  dreams. 

On  their  way  northward  through  this  county, 
the  Spaniards  probably  prospected  for  gold  in  the 
streams  that  came  out  of  the  mountains  which 
crossed  their  trail,  though  there  is  no  positive  evi- 
dence that  they  did. 

Ashley's  Trip  in  1824 

In  November,  1828,  Gen.  William  H.  Ashley, 
of  St.  Louis,  founder  of  the  Rocky  Mountain  Fur 
Company,  with  a  party  of  men  ascended  the  South 
Platte  until  he  reached  the  mountains.  He  then 
made  his  way  north  along  the  base  of  the  moun- 
tains through  Larimer  county  and  across  the  coun- 
try to  the  Laramie  Plains,  thence  on  to  Green 
river  where  he  went  into  winter  quarters.  The 
late  Phillip  Covington,  father  of  H.  C.  Covington, 
of  Laporte,  and  a  former  well-known  resident  of 
this  county,  was  a  member  of  General  Ashley's 
party,  and  has  often  talked  with  the  writer  about 
his  experiences  on  the  trip. 

Wooten's  Expedition 

In  the  spring  of  1836,  Richard  Wooten,  with  a 
party  of  thirteen  men  left  Fort  Bent  on  the  Ar- 


kansas river,  and  proceeded  northwest  on  a  trading 
expedition.  The  party  had  ten  wagons  loaded  with 
goods  for  the  Indian  trade  and  crossed  Larimer 
county,  trading  with  the  natives  on  the  way, 
finally  reaching  Fort  Laramie.  Pushing  thence  to 
the  Sweetwater  country  and  then  north  to  the 
Wind  River  valley,  where  they  spent  the  winter. 
In  the  spring  they  made  their  way  back  to  Fort 
Bent.  All  their  goods  had  been  disposed  of  and 
their  wagons  were  loaded  with  furs  worth  many 
thousand  dollars.  This  was  Richard  Wooten's 
first  venture  with  a  trading  outfit.  In  after  years 
he  became  famous  as  a  trader,  trapper,  freighter  and 
Indian  fighter.  He  was  associated  with  such  men 
as  Kit  Carson,  Colonel  St.  Vrain,  Charles  Bent, 
George  Simpson,  Lucien  B.  Maxwell,  Joseph  Doyle 
and  many  other  noted  men  of  the  mountains.  In 
later  years  he  was  known  as  "Uncle  Dick 
Wooten." 

He  finally  settled  on  a  ranch  at  the  foot  of 
Raton  mountain,  where  he  died  a  few  years  ago. 

Fremont's  Second  Expedition 

That  independent  fur  trappers  operated  on  the 
Cache  la  Poudre,  Big  Thompson  and  St.  Vrain,  and 
their  tributaries,  during  the  early  years  of  the  nine- 
teenth century  is  altogether  probable,  as  beaver 
abounded  in  those  streams,  and  buffalo,  bear,  deer 
and  antelope  were  plentiful  on  the  adjacent  plains. 
That  these  trappers  had  practically  disappeared 
when  Fremont  passed  through  the  county  on  his 
second  expedition  in  1843,  is  evident  from  what 
appears  in  his  report. 

Fremont's  second  expedition  was  undertaken 
early  in  the  spring  of  1843.  Experience  had  taught 
the  chief  of  the  expedition  the  necessity  of  a  com- 
plete outfit,  consequently  everything  thought  to  be 
needed  was  provided.  Maj.  Thomas  Fitzpatrick 
had  been  selecfed  as  guide.  Charles  Preuss  was 
again  chosen  as  assistant  topographical  engineer. 
Lucien  Maxwell  was  engaged  as  hunter.  Among 
other  members  of  his  party  were  Theodore  Talbot, 
of    Washington,    D.    C. ;    Frederick    Dwight,    of 

[23] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


Springfield,  Massachusetts,  who  was  on  his  way  to 
the  Sandwich  Islands;  William  Gilpin,  of  Mis- 
souri, who  afterwards  became  the  first  Territorial 
Governor  of  Colorado,  journeyed  with  Fremont  to 
Oregon.  The  men  who  enlisted  in  the  enterprise 
were  largely  chosen  from  the  members  of  the  first 
expedition.  They  were  Alexis  Ayot,  Francis 
Badeau,  Oliver  Beaulien,  Baptiste  Bernier,  John  A. 
Campbell,  John  G.  Campbell,  Manuel  Chapman, 
Raisoni  Clark,  Philibert  Courteau,  Michel  Crelis, 
William  Creuss,  Clinton  De  Forest,  Baptiste  De- 
rosier,  Basil  Lajeunesse,  Francis  Lajeunesse,  Henry 
Lee,  Louis  Menard,  Louis  Montreil,  Samuel  Neal, 
Alexis  Pera,  Francis  Fera,  James  Power,  Raphael 
Proue,  Oscar  Sarpy,  Baptiste  Tabeau,  Charles  Tap- 
lin,  Baptiste  Tesson,  Auguste  Vasquez,  Joseph 
Venot,  Patrick  White,  Tiery  Wright,  Louis  Zindel 
and  Jacob  Dodson.  The  party  was  armed  with 
Hall's  carbines  and  also  a  twelve-pound  brass 
howitzer.  The  camp  equipage,  provisions  and  in- 
struments were  carried  in  twelve  carts,  drawn  by 
two  mules  each.  It  left  Kansas  City  on  the  29th  of 
May.  On  arriving  at  a  place  called  Big  Timber, 
the  force  was  divided.  Leaving  twenty-five  men  in 
charge  of  Major  Fitzpatrick  to  follow  on  with  the 
heavy  baggage,  Fremont  took  fifteen  men,  the 
mountain  howitzer,  the  cart  containing  the  instru- 
ments, and  pushed  forward,  reaching  the  South 
Platte  on  June  30th,  and  followed  up  the  stream  to 
St.  Vrain's  fort,  which  point  he  reached  on  the  4th 
of  July.  On  the  6th,  the  journey  up  the  Platte  was 
continued ;  in  a  day  or  two  later  camp  was  made 
on  the  site  of  the  city  of  Denver.  Fremont  ex- 
tended his  explorations  as  far  south  as  Pueblo, 
where  he  met  Kit  Carson,  who  had  been  with  him 
on  his  expedition  the  year  before.  This  noted 
frontiersman  and  guide  was  added  to  the  command. 
The  party  soon  after  retraced  its  steps  to  Fort  St. 
Vrain,  arriving  there  on  the  23  rd  of  July,  where 
was  found  the  detachment  under  Fitzpatrick  await- 
ing them.  On  the  26th  the  party  was  again  divided, 
Fremont  taking  thirteen  men  for  his  own  company 
and  Fitzpatrick  the  remainder  with  instructions  to 
proceed  by  way  of  Fort  Laramie,  North  Platte, 
Sweetwater  and  South  Pass  to  Fort  Hall  and  there 
await  the  detachment  under  the  personal  charge  of 
the  explorer.  Before  leaving  St.  Vrain,  Fremont 
made  the  following  comment  in  his  report,  regard- 
ing the  country  over  which  he  expected  to  travel 
and  the  object  of  his  explorations  from  St.  Vrain 
west : 

"I  had  been  able  to  obtain  no  certain  information 
in  regard  to  the  character  of  the  passes  in  this  por- 

[24] 


tion  of  the  Rocky  Mountain  range,  which  had 
always  been  represented  as  impracticable  for  car- 
riages, but  the  exploration  of  which  was  incident- 
ally contemplated  by  my  instructions,  with  the  view 
of  finding  some  convenient  points  of  passage  for  the 
road  of  emigration,  which  would  enable  it  to  reach, 
on  a  more  direct  line,  the  usual  ford  of  the  Great 
Colorado,  a  place  considered  as  determined  by  the 
nature  of  the  country  beyond  that  river.  It  is 
singular,  that  immediately  at  the  foot  of  the  moun- 
tains, I  could  find  no  one  sufficiently  acquainted 
with  them  to  guide  us  to  the  plains  at  their  western 
base;  but  the  race  of  trappers  who  formerly  lived 
in  their  recesses  has  almost  entirely  disappeared, 
dwindled  to  a  few  scattered  individuals,  some  one 
or  two  of  whom  are  regularly  killed  in  the  course 
of  the  year  by  the  Indians.  You  will  remember 
that  in  the  previous  year,  I  brought  with  me  to 
their  village  near  this  post,  and  hospitably  treated 
on  the  way,  several  Cheyenne  Indians,  whom  I  had 
met  on  the  lower  Platte.  Shortly  after  their  ar- 
rival here,  they  were  out  with  a  party  of  Indians 
(themselves  the  principal  men)  which  discovered  a 
few  trappers  in  the  neighboring  mountains,  whom 
they  immediately  murdered,  although  one  of  them 
had  been  nearly  thirty  years  in  the  country,  and 
was  perfectly  well  known,  as  he  had  grown  gray 
among  them. 

"Through  this  portion  of  the  mountains,  also, 
are  the  customary  roads  of  the  war  parties  going 
out  against  the  Utah  and  Shoshone  Indians,  and 
occasionally  parties  from  the  Crow  natives  make 
their  way  down  to  the  southward  along  the  chain, 
in  the  expectation  of  surprising  some  straggling 
lodge  of  their  enemies.  Shortly  before  our  arrival, 
one  of  these  parties  had  attacked  an  Arapahoe  vil- 
lage in  the  vicinity,  which  they  found  unexpectedly 
strong,  and  their  assault  was  turned  into  a  rapid 
flight  and  a  hot  pursuit  in  which  they  had  been 
compelled  to  abandon  the  animals  they  had  ridden, 
and  escape  on  their  war  horses.  Into  this  uncertain 
and  dangerous  region,  small  parties  of  three  or  four 
trappers  who  now  could  collect  together,  rarely 
ventured,  and  consequently  it  was  seldom  visited 
and  little  known.  Having  determined  to  try  the 
passage  through  a  spur  of  the  mountains  made  by 
the  Cache  la  Poudre  river  which  rises  in  the  high 
bed  of  mountains  around  Long's  Peak,  I  thought  it 
desirable  to  avoid  any  incumbrances  which  would 
occasion  detention." 

On  the  afternoon  of  July  26th,  Fremont  resumed 
his  journey,  the  route  taking  him  through  Larimer 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY,    COLORADO 


county  from  the  southeast  corner  almost  to  the 
northwest  corner. 

"A  French  engagee,  at  Lupton's  fort,  had  been 
shot  in  the  back  on  the  4th  of  July,  and  died  dur- 
ing our  absence  to  the  Arkansas.  The  wife  of  the 
murdered  man,  an  Indian  woman  of  the  Snake 
nation,  desirous,  like  Naomi  of  old,  to  return  to  her 
people,  requested  and  obtained  permission  to  travel 
with  my  party  to  the  neighborhood  of  Bear  river, 
where  she  expected  to  meet  with  some  of  their 
villages.  Happier  than  the  Jewish  widow,  she  car- 
ried with  her  two  children,  pretty  little  half- 
breeds,  who  added  much  to  the  liveliness  of  the 
camp.  Her  baggage  was  carried  on  five  or  six  pack 
horses,  and  I  gave  her  a  small  tent  for  which  I  no 
longer  had  any  use,  as  I  had  procured  a  lodge  at 
the  fort." 

For  his  own  party,  Fremont  had  selected  the  fol- 
lowing men,  a  number  of  whom  old  associations 
rendered  agreeable  to  him:  Charles  Preuss,  Chris- 
topher Carson,  Basil  Lajeunesse,  Francis  Badeau, 
J.  B.  Bernier,  Louis  Menard,  Raphael  Proue, 
Jacob  Dodson,  Louis  Zindell,  Harry  Lee,  J.  B. 
Dirosier,  Francis  Lajeunesse,  and  Auguste  Vasquez. 

After  giving  the  latitude  of  St.  Vrain  fort  as  40 
degrees,  16  minutes,  33  seconds,  its  longitude  as 
105  degrees,  12  minutes,  23  seconds,  and  its  altitude 
at  4,930  feet,  Fremont  continues:  "At  the  end  of 
two  days,  which  was  allowed  to  my  animals  for 
necessary  repose,  all  the  arrangements  had  been 
completed,  and  on  the  afternoon  of  July  26th,  we 
resumed  our  respective  routes.  Some  little  trouble 
was  experienced  in  crossing  the  Platte,  the  waters 
of  which  were  still  kept  up  by  rains  and  melting 
snow,  and  having  traveled  only  about  four  miles, 
we  encamped  in  the  evening  on  Thompson's  creek, 
where  we  were  very  much  disturbed  by  mosquitoes." 
(This  camp  was  about  where  the  present  town  of 
Milliken  is.)  From  this  point  it  is  difficult  to  trace 
the  route  followed  by  the  description  given,  but 
from  the  map  accompanying  the  report  on  which 
the  route  is  marked,  it  appears  that  the  party  fol- 
lowed up  the  Big  Thompson  to  about  the  present 
city  of  Loveland,  thence  across  the  divide  to  the 
Cache  la  Poudre  river,  fording  that  stream  July 
28th,  a  short  distance  above  the  mouth  of  Boxelder 
creek;  thence  along  the  north  bank  of  the  river  to 
the  canon  where  they  went  into  camp  for  noon. 
The  map  indicates  that  they  penetrated  the  canon 
to  the  mouth  of  the  North  Fork,  up  which  they  as- 
cended to  its  canon.  Being  unable  to  get  through 
the  canon,  they  made  a  detour  to  the  east,  return- 
ing to  the  river  at  a  point  near  the  Halligan  dam, 


where  they  went  into  camp.  The  next  day  they 
followed  up  the  North  Fork,  coming  out  on 
Boulder  ridge,  where  they  got  their  first  glimpse  of 
the  Laramie  plains,  camping  that  night  at  a  spring 
of  cold  water  near  the  summit  of  the  divide.  The 
following  day  they  crossed  Sand  Creek  pass  and 
dropped  down  on  to  the  Laramie  river  at  about 
Gleneyre,  where  they  camped  for  the  night.  From 
this  point  they  followed  the  trend  of  the  Medi- 
cine Bow  mountains  to  the  North  Platte,  which 
they  forded  and  then  turned  north  to  intersect  the 
overland  emigrant  trail  along  the  Sweetwater  river. 
There  is  a  tradition  to  the  effect  that  Fremont 
and  his  party  entered  North  Park  on  this  expedition 
and  discovered  and  named  Independence  mount- 
ain, but  both  the  map  and  the  report  are  silent  on 
this  point,  from  which  we  conclude  the  tradition  is 
founded  on  a  myth.  There  is  also  a  tradition  that 
Fremont  sent  an  exploring  party  up  through  the 
canon  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  to  what  is  now 
known  as  Cameron  pass  and  that  they  returned  and 
reported  the  route  impracticable.  Some  color  is 
lent  to  the  truth  of  the  tradition  by  the  finding  in 
1885,  by  John  Zimmerman  under  a  big  pine  tree  in 
his  own  yard,  of  a  steel  case-knife  bearing  the  letters 
U.  S.  A.  stamped  on  the  blade.  The  knife  is  sup- 
posed to  have  been  lost  by  Fremont's  men  when 
they  camped  under  the  tree.  The  story  is  hardly 
credible,  however,  as  at  no  time  after  Fremont  left 
St.  Vrain  did  he  stop  long  enough  on  the  road  for 
men  to  make  the  trip  to  Cameron  pass  and  back. 
His  report  shows  that  he  kept  moving  every  day 
from  the  time  he  left  St.  Vrain  until  he  reached  the 
North  Platte.  Thirteen  years  after  Captain  Fre- 
mont had  completed  the  exploration  covered  by  this 
expedition,  he  was  nominated,  in  1856,  as  the  first 
candidate  of  the  newly  organized  Republican  party 
for  the  office  of  President  of  the  United  States,  but 
was  defeated  at  the  election  in  November  of  that 
year  by  James  Buchanan.  He  was  called  the 
"Great  Pathfinder"  in  the  campaign  of  that  year. 

Mormons  Passed  Through  Larimer 
County 

A  part  of  the  Mormon  battalion  of  1846,  pur- 
suing their  way  to  Salt  Lake,  spent  the  winter  of 
1846-7  in  Pueblo.  They  are  said  to  have  been  the 
first  American  families  in  Colorado,  In  the  spring 
and  summer  of  1847  they  continued  their  journey 
to  Salt  Lake,  coming  north  from  Pueblo  and  pass- 
ing through  this  county,  entering  the  mountains 
west  of  Laporte.     There  were  thirty-four  married 


[25] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


women  and  between  sixty  and  seventy  children  in 
the  detachment,  besides  some  ten  or  dozen  single 
men.  They  followed  the  Cherokee  trail  through 
Virginia  Dale,  and  thence  on  to  the  Laramie  Plains 
and  to  Salt  Lake,  via  Fort  Bridger.  The  first 
white  child  born  in  Colorado  was  Malinda  Cath- 
erine Kelley,  and  she  was  born  at  Pueblo  in  Novem- 
ber, 1846,  her  parents  being  Mormons. 

Marcy's  Expedition 

In  1857  President  Buchanan  appointed  A.  Cum- 
ming  Governor  of  Utah  to  succeed  Brigham 
Young,  who  had  held  that  office,  and  also  made 
some  changes  in  other  Territorial  offices.  Governor 
Young  refused  to  vacate  his  office  or  to  recognize 
the  President's  appointments,  whereupon  a  military 
force  was  dispatched  to  Utah  to  seat  the  newly 
appointed  officials  and  to  enforce  the  laws  of  the 
United  States.  The  command  of  the  expedition 
was  given  to  Brigadier  General  Harney,  but  he 
being  detained  by  the  political  trouble  in  Kansas, 
Colonel  E.  B.  Alexander  of  the  Tenth  Infantry 
went  out  in  command.  The  troops  started  west  by 
the  North  Platte  route  over  the  Overland  trail, 
passing  South  pass  and  reaching  Henry's  fork  of 
Green  river,  thirty  miles  east  of  Fort  Bridger,  then 
going  into  camp  to  await  instructions  from  Wash- 
ington. In  November,  Gen.  Albert  Sidney  John- 
ston arrived  and  took  command,  having  been  sub- 
situated  for  General  Harney.  The  greater  part  of 
the  supplies  for  General  Johnston's  force  was  cap- 
tured and  destroyed  on  Green  river  and  on  the  Big 
Sandy  by  the  Mormons  and  the  command  had  to 
be  placed  on  short  rations.  Captain  R.  B.  Marcy 
was  at  once  dispatched  across  the  mountains  to  Fort 
Massachusetts,  New  Mexico,  to  obtain  supplies.  It 
was  a  terrible  trip  in  dead  of  winter  and  there  was 
much  suffering  among  the  men  on  the  journey. 
Jim  Baker,  the  noted  frontiersman,  who  died  in 
1898,  accompanied  Captain  Marcy,  and  that  officer 
testified  that  he  rendered  valuable  service  as  assist- 
ant guide  and  interpreter,  saying  that  if  it  had  not 
been  for  Jim  Baker  his  little  company  would  never 
have  been  able  to  reach  its  destination.  Captain 
Marcy's  command  proceeded  from  Fort  Bridger  to 
the  foot  of  the  mountains  between  Green  and  Grand 
rivers,  up  a  canon  to  the  top  of  the  range  to  Grand 
river,  near  the  mouth  of  the  Uncompahgre,  up 
Eagle  river  to  Cochetopa  pass,  and  to  Fort  Massa- 
chusetts, where  he  obtained  what  was  required. 
The  return  journey  was  not  undertaken  until'  the 
following   June,    the    party    being   obliged    by    the 

[26] 


severity  of  the  winter  to  go  into  camp  in  the  pine 
woods  on  Squirrel  creek.  Here  he  lost  several  men 
and  a  large  number  of  sheep  by  the  cold  and  snow 
encountered.  In  June,  1858,  as  soon  as  the  grass 
became  good  enough  to  sustain  the  lives  of  his  ani- 
mals, including  several  thousand  sheep,  Captain 
Marcy  started  to  rejoin  his  command,  following  the 
Cherokee  trail  from  his  winter  camp  through  La- 
porte  to  the  Laramie  plains  and  thence  on  by  way 
of  South  Pass  to  General  Johnston's  encampment  at 
Fort  Bridger.  Captain  Marcy's  expedition,  all 
things  considered,  is  one  of  the  most  remarkable 
known  to  the  Rocky  Mountain  region,  and  his  suc- 
cess is  proof  of  the  courage  and  endurance  of  the 
men  connected  with  it. 

A  Trip  Up  the  Poudre  in  1852 

In  July,  1907,  the  venerable  J.  R.  Todd,  a  for- 
mer resident  of  Fort  Collins,  but  now  living  in 
Iowa,  related  the  following  story  describing  his  ex- 
periences while  crossing  the  continent  in  1852,  to 
Judge  Jefferson  McAnelly,  to  whom  I  am  indebted 
for  the  privilege  of  using  the  greater  part  of  it  in 
this  volume.  In  the  story  as  told  by  Mr.  Todd, 
he  said  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river  had  not  been 
named  in  1852.  In  this  he  was  mistaken.  The 
stream  received  its  name  in  1836,  and  the  name 
originated  from  an  incident  similar  to  the  one  de- 
scribed by  Mr.  Todd.  The  name  Cache  la  Poudre 
appeared  in  print  in  public  reports  and  documents 
fifteen  or  more  years  before  Mr.  Todd  traversed 
the  banks  of  the  stream,  and  I  have,  therefore, 
eliminated  so  much  of  the  story  as  relates  to  that 
matter,  for  the  reason  that  it  is  incorrect.  Mr. 
Todd's  story  follows: 

"Doubtless,  the  trip  up  the  Cache  la  Poudre  val- 
ley by  George  Pinkerton  and  others  in  the  year 
1852,  will  be  interesting  to  the  present  citizens  of 
Larimer  county,  as  well  as  to  others  elsewhere. 
The  waters  of  the  river  were  as  clear  as  crystal  all 
the  way  down  to  its  confluence  with  the  Platte.  Its 
banks  were  fringed  with  timber  not  as  large  as  now, 
consisting  of  cottonwood,  boxelder,  and  some  wil- 
low. 

Its  waters  were  full  of  trout  of  the  speckled  or 
mountain  variety.  The  undulating  bluffs  sloped 
gently  to  the  valley  which  was  carpeted  with  the 
most  luxuriant  grasses.  It  was  in  June,  the  mildest 
and  most  beautiful  part  of  the  summer  in  the  west- 
ern country,  when  the  days  were  pleasant,  the  nights 
cool  and  mornings  crisp  and  bracing.  The  sky  was 
scarcely  ever  obscured   by  clouds,   and   its  vaulted 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


blue,  golden  tinted  in  the  morning  and  evening,  was 
like  a  dream  of  beauty.  Not  an  ax  had  marred  the 
symmetry  of  the  groves  of  trees  that  lined  the 
banks.  Not  a  plow,  or  spade,  or  hoe  had  ever 
broken  its  virgin  soil.  Wild  flowers  of  the  richest 
hue  beautified  the  landscape,  while  above  all  towered 
the  majestic  Rocky  Mountains  to  the  westward  of 
the  valley,  like  the  grim  sentinels  they  are,  ever 
watching,  watching  and  noting  this  advancing  van- 
guard of  civilization. 

"We,  of  the  present  day,  call  it  the  beautiful  val- 
ley, and  it  is  so,  with  its  fine  farms,  its  green  fields, 
its  growing  cities,  towns  and  villages  and  its  beau- 
tiful homes,  but  with  all  the  touches  of  this  civiliza- 
tion, it  is  no  more  beautiful  now,  it  never  can  ap- 
pear as  beautiful  to  anyone  as  it  appeared  to  this 
band  of  young  adventurers  on  the  June  mornings  in 
1852,  clothed  in  that  garb  that  Nature  placed 
there. 

"In  the  spring  of  1852,  George  Pinkerton,  Valen- 
tine Hartsock,  Thomas  Gates,  and  J.  R.  Todd 
organized  a  party  of  young  men  and  emigrants  in 
the  State  of  Iowa,  which  had  for  its  objective  point 
the  new  formed  Territory  of  Oregon,  on  the  Pacific 
coast.  The  party  was  organized  in  Sigourney, 
Iowa,  and  started  on  the  journey  on  April  12th, 
1852. 

"They  went  from  Sigourney  to  Council  Bluffs, 
Iowa,  which  was  then  the  extreme  frontier  of  the 
white  settlement.  It  was  at  that  time  a  trading 
point,  and  had  water  communication  with  St. 
Louis,  by  boat,  and  contained  at  the  time  about 
1,000  inhabitants.  Here  the  United  States  troops 
ordered  them  to  remain  until  a  sufficient  number 
of  other  emigrants  arrived  to  make  the  party  strong 
enough  to  be  safe  from  Indian  attack  in  crossing  the 
Plains.  They  were  held  at  Council  Bluffs  until  the 
wagons  numbered  fifty,  and  the  emigrants  numbered 
about  300.  They  were  organized  into  companies, 
and  properly  officered,  and  were  then  permitted  to 
cross  the  Missouri  river,  into  what  was  then  known 
as  the  Great  American  Desert. 

"At  that  time  there  were  no  settlements  between 
the  Missouri  river  and  the  Rocky  Mountain  region, 
excepting  the  military  post  at  Fort  Leavenworth,  in 
the  vicinity  of  which  a  few  squatters  had  settled. 
The  party  crossed  the  Missouri  river  on  a  ferry- 
boat owned  by  the  Mormons,  at  a  little  town  to 
the  northwest  of  Council  Bluffs  called  Gainesville. 
They  struck  out  from  the  point  of  the  crossing  to 
the  westward,  and  in  three  days'  travel  arrived  on 
the  banks  of  the  Platte  river.  They  traveled  along 
the  north  side  of  this  river  until  they  came  to  the 


confluence  of  the  North  and  South  forks  of  the 
stream. 

"Here  the  old  trail  followed  the  North  fork  of 
the  river,  and  wound  its  way  far  to  the  northward, 
through  the  Black  Hills,  and  back  again  southward 
to  the  Devil's  Gate  on  the  Sweetwater  river. 

"At  the  forks  of  the  Platte  a  portion  of  the  emi- 
grants suggested  that  they  follow  the  South  Platte 
river  and  see  if  a  shorter  route  could  not  be  found, 
over  which  to  reach  the  Lamarie  Plains  and  Sweet- 
water, but  the  majority  of  them  argued  that  it 
would  be  safer  for  them  and  their  women  and  chil- 
dren to  follow  the  old  route  rather  than  leave  it  for 
a  new  and  untried  one.  George  Pinkerton,  who 
had  been  over  the  old  trail  before,  was  so  fixed  in  his 
opinion  that  a  shorter  route  could  be  found,  that  he 
induced  seventy-four  men  of  the  caravan  to  join  him 
and  start  in  search  of  such  route. 

"They  crossed  the  North  Platte  and  followed 
along  the  north  side  of  the  South  Platte,  until  they 
came  to  the  mouth  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river. 
They  traveled  along  the  valley  of  this  river  until 
they  struck  the  foothills  somewhere  near  the  present 
site  of  Laporte.  They  crossed  the  Poudre  river 
here  and  passed  through  a  beautiful  glade,  un- 
named then,  but  now  known  as  Pleasant  Valley. 

"Still  onward  they  traveled  to  the  northward  of 
the  present  site  of  the  town  of  Bellvue,  crossed  the 
Poudre  river  again  and  went  on  northward 
through  a  long  glade,  until  they  came  to  the  first 
canon  south  of  what  is  now  known  as  Owl  canon, 
leading  into  the  second  glade,  and  went  up  through 
that  glade,  finally  coming  to  what  is  now  known  as 
the  Livermore  country,  skirting  Stonewall  creek 
on  the  right  bank  and  arriving  at  what  is  now  called 
Dale  creek,  on  the  evening  of  the  3rd  of  July,  1852, 
where  they  camped  for  the  night  and  held  a  Fourth 
of  July  celebration  the  next  day. 

"In  coming  up  the  South  Platte  river  they  struck 
the  mouth  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river  at  noon,  and 
on  the  evening  of  the  first  day's  travel  on  that  river 
they  camped.  Game  was  plentiful,  herds  of  buffalo 
were  seen  upon  the  plains,  as  well  as  deer,  elk  and 
antelope. 

"To  the  travelers  the  Poudre  valley  appeared  to 
be  the  hunters'  paradise.  Trout  were  caught  then 
along  the  Poudre  river  from  its  mouth  to  the  foot- 
hills, and  the  small  streams  in  the  mountains  were 
alive  with  them. 

"As  stated,  they  camped  on  its  banks.  Many 
times  during  that  day  they  had  observed  a  band  of 
Indians  at  some  distance  on  the  bluffs,  and  some- 
times following  them  in  the  rear.     That  night  they 


[27] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


took  extra  precautions  against  a  possible  attack. 
They  posted  an  extra  guard  of  twenty  men  around 
their  cattle  and  still  an  extra  guard  about  their  cor- 
ral. They  were  not  molested  during  the  night,  but 
early  in  the  morning  the  Indians  charged  in  two 
separate  bands.  One  band  charged  the  guards  look- 
ing after  the  cattle,  and  the  other  charged  the 
wagons,  yelling  and  screeching  like  deamons  and 
beating  dried  deer-skins  and  rattling  deer-hoofs  and 
bones  to  stampede  the  stock.  They  came  out  near 
the  corral  before  they  were  checked  by  the  rifles  of 
the  emigrants.  They  were  all  armed  with  bows  and 
arrows  and  had  a  few  old  shotguns  which  they 
doubtless  obtained  from  the  Hudson  Bay  Company. 
These  pea-guns  did  not  amount  to  anything,  as  the 
Indians  were  met  by  the  bullets  of  the  emigrants 
long  before  they  came  near  enough  to  do  any  execu- 
tion with  the  shotguns.  The  fight  lasted  about  ten 
minutes,  when  the  Indians  retreated.  It  was 
noticed  that  they  carried  off  some  of  their  dead. 
The  whites  lost  one  man  killed  outright,  and  one 
man  mortally  wounded,  who  died  on  the  road,  and 
was  buried  in  the  vicinity  of  the  present  site  of  La- 
porte,  and  two  others  were  wounded,  who  recovered. 

"After  the  Indians  had  left,  some  of  the  men 
went  out  and  counted  twenty-seven  of  their  dead 
and  wounded,  who  were  left  where  they  fell. 

"The  remainder  of  the  trip  to  Virginia  Dale  was 
uneventful.  On  what  is  now  called  Dale  creek, 
near  the  site  of  the  present  home  of  our  former 
County  Commissioner,  T.  B.  Bishopp,  where  they 
arrived  on  the  evening  of  the  third  day,  they  cele- 
brated the  Fourth  of  July  in  good  old  western 
style.  There  was  a  large  flat  rock  near  their  camp 
upon  which  they  held  their  exercises.  They  had 
several  flags  with  them  which  they  raised  on  poles. 
A  fellow  by  the  name  of  A.  C.  Dodge,  who  was 
something  of  a  historian  and  debater,  and  who  had 
brought  some  books  with  him,  in  one  of  which  was 
the  Declaration  of  Independence,  read  it  and  made 
quite  a  speech.  They  had  a  ten-gallon  keg  of 
whiskey,  which  they  opened  during  the  exercises, 
and  of  course  did  it  full  justice,  and  in  the  even- 
ing on  the  green  sod  had  what  they  called  a 
stag  dance.  They  had  four  fiddles,  and  as  many 
violinists,  and  it  is  said  by  one  of  the  party, 
who  now  survives,  that  they  had  a  splendid  time. 
After  they  had  danced  to  their  hearts'  content, 
they  'turned  in,'  as  it  was  then  called,  and  went 
to  sleep  soon,  but  when  they  woke  up  in  the  morn- 
ing they  found  that  a  band  of  Indians  had  run  off 
some  of  their  horses.  They  immediately  organ- 
ized a  party  and  started  in  pursuit.    They  followed 

[28] 


the  trail  of  the  Indians  nearly  all  day  and  came 
upon  their  camp  late  in  the  afternoon.  The  Indians 
having  traveled  all  night  and  part  of  the  day  were 
found  asleep.  Firing  on  them  and  killing  three, 
they  succeeded  in  recapturing  the  horses.  They  re- 
turned with  them  to  camp  and  on  the  next  day 
started  on  their  journey,  traveling  northwesterly, 
arriving  at  a  point  near  the  foot  of  Sheep  mountain, 
where  they  struck  the  Laramie  plains.  Shortly 
after  they  came  out  on  the  plains  they  were  joined 
by  a  band  of  Cherokee  Indians  who  were  on  their 
way  from  the  Indian  Territory  to  Oregon.  These 
Indians  told  them  that  a  few  days  before,  a  party  of 
what  they  thought  to  be  Ute  Indians  had  run  off 
a  large  band  of  their  horses." 

It  is  stated  that  the  valley  along  the  Poudre  river 
afforded  the  finest  kind  of  pasturage,  as  well  as  did 
the  glades  in  the  mountains.  At  that  time  it  was  a 
difficult  matter  to  travel  through  the  foothills,  as 
well  as  in  the  mountains. 

The  banks  of  the  rivers  and  creeks  were  grown 
up  with  a  dense  underbrush,  which  had  to  be  cut 
away.  Their  course  lay  over  the  mountains  whose 
grades  were  so  steep  .that  it  became  necessary  in 
descending  them,  in  some  places,  to  tie  a  rope  to 
the  hind  axle  of  the  wagons  and  to  wind  it  about 
a  nearby  tree  and  then  play  out  the  rope  as  the 
wagon  descended.  And  in  ascending,  the  moun- 
tains in  places  were  so  steep  that  it  became  neces- 
sary to  hitch  on  ten  yoke  of  oxen  to  one  wagon  to 
get  it  up  the  mountain.  They  traveled  on  the  side 
of  the  mountain  where  it  was  so  steep  that  it  was 
necessary  for  four  or  five  men  to  hold  to  ropes  at- 
tached to  the  upper  side  of  the  wagon-box  to  keep 
it  from  tipping  over. 

The  party  traveled  without  further  incident  until 
they  came  again  to  the  Oregon  trail,  at  Devil's 
Gate  on  the  Sweetwater  river. 

Greeley's  Journey  Through  Larimer 
County 

From  Horace  Greeley's  "Overland  Journey  to 
California  in  1859,"  is  here  reproduced  so  much  of 
his  narrative  as  treats  of  his  trip  from  Denver  to 
Fort  Laramie,  made  in  June  of  that  year.  The 
story  is  of  absorbing  interest  as  it  depicts  in  well- 
chosen  terms  the  trials  and  tribulations  of  a  traveler 
through  this  section  of  Colorado  in  the  early  days 
when  there  were  but  few  settlers  in  the  wilderness 
and  these  scattered  wide  apart. 

At  the  time  Mr.  Greeley  passed  through  La- 
porte,  where  there  was  a  small  beginning  of  a  set- 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY,    COLORADO 


dement,  there  was  not  another  house,  barn  or  shed 
in  the  county  save  a  cabin  at  the  crossing  of  the 
Big  Thompson,  a  few  miles  west  of  the  present 
city  of  Loveland.  At  Laporte  there  were  a  few 
French  Canadian  trappers,  all  of  the  remainder  of 
the  county,  with  the  exception  noted,  being  unin- 
habited by  white  men.  Indians  with  their  tepees 
there  were,  but  no  white  men  had  yet  come  to  the 
county  with  the  intention  of  settling  and  establish- 
ing homes  for  themselves  in  the  wilderness. 

Thousands  of  white  men,  some  with  families, 
had  years  before  passed  through  the  county  from 
east  to  west  and  from  north  to  south,  either  going 
further  west  or  returning  to  their  former  Eastern 
homes,  but  they  had  no  "stop  overs,"  and  rushed 
onward  leaving  the  fertile  valleys  of  the  Cache  la 
Poudre  river  and  the  Big  and  Little  Thompson 
creeks  untouched  except  by  footsteps. 

Mr.  Greeley  was  the  first  white  man  to  traverse 
the  county  who  left  any  record  of  his  experiences 
and  impressions  gained  en  route.  He  left  Denver 
at  3  :00  o'clock  on  Tuesday  afternoon,  June  21st, 
1859,  in  an  ambulance  wagon  drawn  by  four  mules, 
bound  for  Fort  Laramie,  where  he  expected  to  in- 
tercept and  take  passage  in  the  Overland  stage  for 
California.  Mr.  Greeley  does  not  say  who  ac- 
companied him  on  this  part  of  his  journey,  but  it  is 
inferred  that  he  had  three  companions.  The  first 
night  out  tftey  camped  at  "Boulder  City,  a  log  ham- 
let of  some  thirty  inhabitants."  From  this  on  the 
story  is  told  as  he  tells  it  in  his  book : 

"Here  ('Boulder  City')  we  found  four  wagons, 
two  of  them  with  horse  teams,  each  conveying  the 
luggage  of  four  or  five  men,  who  having  taken  a 
look  at  these  gold  regions,  had  decided  to  push  on 
for  California,  most  of  them,  I  believe,  through 
what  is  known  as  the  Cherokee  trail,  which  forms 
part  of  the  shortest  practicable  route  from  Denver 
to  Salt  Lake.  I  was  strongly  tempted  at  Denver  to 
join  one  of  these  parties,  and  go  through  this  pass; 
had  I  stood  firmly  on  both  feet,  I  think  I  should 
have  done  it,  saving  distance  though  losing  time. 
We  all  camped  for  the  night  beside  a  small  brook, 
the  rippling  of  whose  waters  over  its  pebbly  bed 
fell  soothingly  on  the  drowsy  ear.  I  had  the  wagon 
to  myself  for  a  bed  chamber,  while  my  three  com- 
panions spread  their  buffalo  skins  and  blankets  on 
the  grass  and  had  the  vault  of  heaven  for  their 
ceiling.  The  night  was  cool  and  breezy,  our  mules 
were  picketed  on  the  grass  at  a  short  distance,  our 
supper  of  fried  pork  and  pilot  bread  had  satisfied 
us,  and  we  slept  quietly  till  the  first  dawn  of  day, 
when  our  mules  were  quickly  harnessed  and  we  left 


our  fellow  campers  torpid,  pushing  on  fifteen  miles 
and  crossing  two  deep,  swift,  steep  banked  creeks 
(St.  Vrain's  fork  and  a  branch  of  the  Thompson 
creek)  before  stopping  for  feed  and  breakfast. 
After  two  hours'  rest  we  harnessed  up  and  made 
twenty-one  miles  more  before  stopping  at  the  cross- 
ing of  the  outer  fork  of  Thompson's  creek,  for 
dinner.  Here  we  found  a  caravan  moving  from 
Missouri  to  California,  which  reminded  me  of  the 
days  of  Abraham  and  Lot.  It  comprised  six  or 
seven  heavy  wagons,  mainly  drawn  by  oxen,  with  a 
light  traveling  carriage  and  a  pair  of  horses  convey- 
ing the  patriarch's  family,  some  two  or  three  hun- 
dred head  of  cows,  steers  and  young  cattle,  with 
three  or  four  young  men  on  horseback  driving  and 
keeping  the  herd.  Girls  were  milking,  women 
cooking  or  washing,  children  playing,  in  short,  here 
was  the  material  for  a  very  fair  settlement,  or  quite 
an  imposing  Kansas  City.  While  we  were  snooz- 
ing, they  hitched  up  and  moved  on  before  us,  but  we 
very  soon  overtook  and  passed  them. 

"Pushing  on  steadily  over  a  reasonably  level 
country,  though  crossed  by  many  deep  and  steep- 
banked  dry  gullies,  and  perhaps  one  petty  living 
stream,  we  stood  at  5  :00  P.  M.  on  the  south  bank 
of  Cache  la  Poudre,  seventy  miles  from  Denver, 
and  by  far  the  most  formidable  stream  between  the 
South  Platte  and  the  Laramie.  Our  conductor  was 
as  brave  as  mountaineers  need  be,  but  he  was  wary 
as  well,  and  had  seen  so  many  people  drowned  in 
fording  such  streams ,  especially  the  Green  river 
branch  of  the  Colorado,  on  which  he  spent  a  year 
or  two,  that  he  chose  to  feel  his  way  carefully.  So 
he  waited  and  observed  for  an  hour  or  more,  mean- 
time sending  word  to  an  old  French  mountaineer 
friend  from  Utah,  who  had  pitched  his  tent  here, 
that  help  was  wanted.  There  had  been  a  ferryboat 
at  this  crossing  till  two  nights  before,  when  it  went 
down  stream,  and  had  not  since  been  heard  of.  A 
horseman  we  met  some  miles  below  assured  us  that 
there  was  no  crossing,  but  this  we  found  a  mistake, 
two  men  mounted  on  strong  horses  crossing  safely 
before  our  eyes,  and  two  heavy  laden  ox  wagons 
succeeding  them  in  doing  the  same. 

"One  of  them  stuck  in  the  stream  and  the  oxen 
had  to  be  taken  off  and  driven  out,  being  unable  to 
pull  it  while  themselves  were  half  buried  in  the 
swift  current.  But  these  crossings  were  made  from 
the  other  side  where  the  entrance  was  better  and 
current  rather  favored  the  passage.  The  ox  wagons 
were  held  to  the  bottom  by  the  weight  of  their 
loads,  while  our  'ambulance'  was  light  and  likely  to 
be    swept    down    stream.     At    length    our    French 


[29] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


friend  appeared  mounted  on  a  powerful  horse,  with 
an  Indian  attendant  on  another  such.  He  advised 
us  to  stay  where  we  were  for  the  night,  promising 
to  come  in  the  morning  with  a  heavy  ox  team  and 
help  us  over.  As  this,  however,  involved  a  loss  of 
at  least  ten  miles  on  our  next  day's  drive,  our  con- 
ductor resolved  to  make  the  attempt  now.  So  the 
Frenchman  on  his  strong  horse  took  one  of  our  lead 
mules  by  the  halter  and  the  Indian  took  the  other 
and  we  went  in,  barely  escaping  an  upset  from  going 
down  the  steep  bank,  obliquely,  and  thus  throwing 
one  side  of  our  wagon  much  above  the  other,  but 
we  righted  in  a  moment  and  went  through,  the 
water  being  at  least  three  feet  deep  for  about  a 
hundred  yards,  the  bottom  broken  by  boulders,  and 
the  current  very  swift.  We  camped  as  soon  as 
fairly  over,  lit  a  fire,  and  having  obtained  a  quarter 
of  antelope  from  our  French  friend,  proceeded  to 
prepare  and  discuss  a  very  satisfactory  meal.  Table, 
of  course,  there  was  none,  and  unluckily  we  had 
lost  our  forks,  but  we  still  had  two  knives,  a  suf- 
ficiency of  tin  cups  and  plates,  with  an  abundance  of 
pork  and  pilot  bread,  and  an  old  rag  for  table- 
cloth which  had  evidently  seen  hard  service,  and  had 
gathered  more  dirt  and  blood  in  the  course  of  it 
than  a  table-cloth  actually  needs.  But  the  antelope 
ham  was  fresh,  fat  and  tender,  and  it  must  have 
weighed  less  by  three  pounds  when  that  supper  was 
ended  than  when  its  preparation  was  commenced. 

"Cache  la  Poudre  seems  to  be  the  center  of  the 
antelope  country.  There  are  no  settlements,  save  a 
small  beginning  just  at  the  ford,  as  yet  hardly  three 
months  old,  between  Denver,  seventy  miles  on  one 
side,  and  Fort  Laramie,  one  hundred  and  thirty,  on 
the  other.  The  North  Platte  and  the  Laramie,  both 
head  in  the  mountains,  forty  to  eighty  miles  due 
west  of  this  point,  thence  pursuing  a  generally 
north  course  for  more  than  one  hundred  miles 
among  the  hills,  which  are  here  lower  and  less  steep 
than  further  south.  The  bold,  high,  regular  front 
displayed  by  the  Rocky  Mountains  for  at  least  a 
hundred  (and,  I  believe,  for  two  hundred)  miles 
south  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre,  hence  gradually 
melt  away  into  a  succession  of  softer,  rounder, 
lower  hills;  snow  disappears;  the  line  between  the 
mountains  and  the  plains  no  longer  straight  and 
sharply  defined,  and  the  still  waters  of  the  Plains 
have  for  some  miles  an  alkaline  appearance,  besides 
being  very  scarce  in  summer.  The  Cherokee  trail 
plunges  into  the  mountains  on  the  north  side  of  and 
very  near  to  Cache  la  Poudre,  and  henceforth  we 
overtake  no  emigrants  moving  westward,  none  of 
any    sort,    but    meet    a    few    wagons    making    for 

[30] 


Boulder  City  or  the  Gregory  diggings.  Since  we 
crossed  Clear  creek,  on  which  there  is  on  this  trail 
a  decent  fringe  of  cottonwood,  we  had  seen  but  the 
merest  shred  of  small  cottonwoods  and  some  scrub 
willow  at  wide  intervals  along  the  larger  water 
courses;  but  the  pine  still  sparsely  covered  the  face 
of  the  Rocky  Mountains.  Cache  la  Poudre  has 
quite  a  fair  belt  of  cottonwood,  thenceforth  there  is 
scarcely  a  cord  of  wood  to  a  township  for  the  next 
fifty  or  sixty  miles,  and  the  pine  is  no  longer  visible 
on  the  hills  near  us,  because  they  expose  little  but 
rock,  and  hence  are  swept  by  the  annual  fires.  The 
high  prairie  on  either  side  is  thinly,  poorly  grassed, 
being  of  moderate  fertility  at  best,  often  full  of 
pebbles  of  the  average  size  of  a  goose-egg,  and  ap- 
parently doomed  to  sterility  by  drouth.  This 
region,  though  inferior  in  soil,  and  less  smooth  in 
surface  is  not  dissimilar  in  its  topography  to  Lom- 
bardy,  and  like  it  will  in  time  be  subjected  to 
systematic  irrigation,  should  the  Rocky  Mountain 
gold  mines  prove  rich  and  extensive.  Some  of  the 
streams  crossed  by  our  road  might  easily  be  so 
dammed  at  their  egress  from  the  mountains  as  to 
irrigate  miles  in  width  to  the  South  Platte,  forty  or 
fifty  miles  distant,  and  at  the  price  which  vegetables 
must  always  command  here  should  the  gold  mines 
prove  inexhaustible,  the  enterprise  would  pay  well. 
I  was  told  at  Cache  la  Poudre  that  encouraging 
signs  of  gold  had  been  obtained  in  the  stream, 
though  it  had  only  begun  to  be  prospected. 

"We  were  up  and  away  betimes,  still  over  thinly 
grassed,  badly  watered  prairie,  rather  level  in  its 
general  outlines,  but  badly  cut  by  steep-banked 
water  courses  now  dry.  We  drove  fifteen  miles  and 
stopped  for  breakfast  on  a  feeble  tributary  of  Cache 
la  Poudre,  named  Boxelder,  for  a  small  tree  which 
I  first  observed  here  and  which  is  poorer  stufF,  if 
possible,  than  cottonwood.  This  is  the  only  tribu- 
tary which  joins  the  Cache  la  Poudre  below  its 
egress  from  the  mountains.  All  the  streams  of  this 
region  are  largest  where  they  emerge  from  the 
mountains,  unless  reinforced  below  by  other 
streams  having  a  like  origin,  the  thirsty  prairie  con- 
tributes nothing,  but  begins  to  drink  them  up  from 
the  time  they  strike  it.  The  smaller  streams  are 
thus  entirely  absorbed  in  the  course  of  five  or  ten 
miles,  unless  they  happen  sooner  to  be  lost  in  some 
larger  creek.  Drouth,  throughout  each  summer,  is 
the  inexorable  and  destroying  tyrant  of  the  Plains." 

Here  we  leave  Mr.  Greeley  and  his  party  to  pur- 
sue their  journey  to  Fort  Laramie,  at  which  point 
they  arrived  three  days  later.  If  Horace  Greeley 
could  be  restored  to  life  and  privileged  to  journey 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER 


COUNTY 


COLORADO 


across  the  continent  in  these  days,  he  would  note 
that  a  great  change  had  taken  place  in  the  appear- 
ance of  the  country  he  traveled  over  in  an  ambu- 
lance from  Denver  to  Boxelder  creek,  fifty-one 
years  ago.  Instead  of  wild,  dreary  and  uninhabited 
plains,  he  would  pass  through  a  thickly  settled 
country  all  the  way,  along  fine  farms  and  farm 
houses,  well  cultivated  and  highly  productive  fields, 
orchards  laden  with  fruit  and  luxuriant  gardens 
burdened  with  choice  vegetables  and  through  towns 
and  cities  teeming  with  activity,  all  brought  about 
through  the  systematic  use  of  and  intelligent  appli- 
cation of  water  to  the  land.  Instead  of  plodding 
along  in  a  rickety,  uncomfortable  ambulance,  drawn 
by  mules,  making  twenty  or  thirty  miles  a  day  over 
rough  roads  and  fording  flooded  streams,  he  would 
be  whirled  through  the  country  in  luxurious  Pull- 
man cars  which  cover  more  miles  in  an  hour  than 
the  mules  leave  behind  in  a  long  day's  drive.  Yes, 
conditions  in  Colorado  have  changed,  wonderfully 
changed,  since  June,  1859. 

Trapping  on  the  Cache  La  Poudte 
in  1849  and  1850 

In  1900,  Capt.  William  T.  Drannan  published  a 
book,  entitled  "Thirty-One  Years  on  the  Plains  and 
in  the  Mountains,"  in  which  he  recounts  his  experi- 
ences and  adventures  as  a  hunter,  trapper,  Indian 
fighter  and  scout.  According  to  his  narrative  he  fell 
in  with  Kit  Carson  at  St.  Louis  when  fifteen  years 
of  age  and  remained  with  the  noted  hunter,  trapper, 
guide  and  scout  until  he  was  twenty-one  years  old. 
He  called  Carson  "Uncle  Kit,"  and  relates  many 
marvelous  tales  of  thrilling  adventures  on  the  plains 
and  in  the  mountains.  In  the  winter  of  1849-50, 
Carson  established  several  trapping  posts  on  the 
headwaters  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  and  placed 
young  Drannan,  then  nineteen  years  old,  in  charge 
of  a  party  of  trappers.  In  chapter  five  of  his  book. 
Captain  Drannan  relates  the  story  of  his  experiences 
and  adventures  that  winter,  the  major  portion  of 
which  is  herewith  reproduced  in  his  own  words : 

"Uncle  Kit,  having  made  quite  a  sum  of  money, 
concluded  that  he  would  take  over  to  the  head- 
waters of  the  Cache  la  Poudre,  to  look  for  a  new 
field  where  he  could  trap  the  coming  winter  on  a 
large  scale,  and  wanted  John  West  and  I  to  accom- 
pany him,  which  we  did.  Each  taking  a  saddle  and 
one  pack  animal,  we  started  on  the  trip,  taking  a 
new  route  to  Uncle  Kit,  as  well  as  to  Johnnie  and 
myself.  Carson  took  the  lead,  for,  like  a  deer,  he 
could  find  his  way  anywhere  he  wished  to  go. 


"We  crossed  the  Arkansas  above  Bent's  fort,  and 
from  there  we  traveled  along  the  foothills  of  the 
Rocky  Mountains,  striking  the  South  Platte  at  the 
mouth  of  Cherry  creek,  which  is  now  the  center  of 
Denver,  Colorado.  Here  we  met  Mountain  Phil — 
of  whom  you  will  hear  more  in  this  narrative.  He 
was  living  in  a  wickiup  and  had  a  squaw  for  a  wife. 
Uncle  Kit  and  I,  being  acquainted  with  him, 
stopped  and  had  a  chat  with  him  while  our  horses 
were  feeding.  Uncle  Kit  asked  what  he  intended  to 
do  the  coming  winter,  and  he  replied : 

"  'I  will  trap  for  you  if  you  like,  but  you  will 
have  to  furnish  me  an  outfit,  for  I  have  none  of  my 
own.' 

"  'AH  right,  Phil,'  said  Carson,  'I  will  give  you  a 
job,  but  you  will  have  to  stop  alone,  for  none  of  my 
men  will  live  with  you.' 

"  'All  right,'  said  Phil,  'me  and  Klooch  will  be 
enough  to  stop  in  one  cabin,  anyway.' 

"These  things  being  understood,  we  rode  off, 
Mountain  Phil  agreeing  to  meet  us  at  Taos  about 
two  months  from  that  time.  After  we  rode  away, 
I  asked  Uncle  Kit  why  no  one  would  live  with 
Mountain  Phil.  His  reply  was:  'Phil  is  a  very 
bad  man,  and  I  have  yet  to  hear  the  first  man  speak 
a  good  word  for  him.' 

"Late  that  afternoon  we  saw  a  band  of  Indians — 
ten  in  number — coming  toward  us,  and  when  near 
them  we  saw  that  they  were  Arapahoes,  and  Gray 
Eagle,  the  chief,  was  with  them.  Uncle  Kit  being 
well  acquainted,  all  shook  hands,  and  the  chief  in- 
sisted on  our  going  to  their  camp  and  staying  all 
night  with  them.  Uncle  Kit,  knowing  the  nature 
of  the  Indians,  and  knowing  that  Gray  Eagle 
would  take  it  as  an  insult  if  we  should  refuse  to 
visit  him,  turned  about  and  went  home  with  him. 
He  sent  two  of  his  men  ahead  to  the  village,  and 
we  were  met  by  about  five  hundred  warriors  with 
all  the  women  and  children  of  the  village.  Just  at 
the  outer  edge  of  the  village  we  were  honored  with 
what  they  considered  a  great  reception.  Gray  Eagle 
took  us  to  his  own  wickiup,  his  men  taking  charge 
of  our  horses  and  packs.  I  had  learned  to  speak  the 
Arapahoe  language  fairly  well  and  could  under- 
stand anything  they  said.  When  supper  time  came. 
Gray  Eagle  came  to  Uncle  Kit  and  said:  'I  have  a 
great  feast  for  you ;  my  men  have  killed  a  very  fat 
dog;  supper  is  ready;  come  in  and  eat.' 

"I  remarked  to  Uncle  Kit  as  we  were  going  to 
supper,  that  I  was  very  glad  we  came  with  Gray 
Eagle,  for  it  had  been  a  long  time  since  I  had  had 
a  good  meal  of  dog.  Supper  being  over,  the  chief 
got  his  pipe  and  selected  six  men  from  his  tribe  and 

[31] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


we  had  a  peace  smoke,  and  he  and  Uncle  Kit  talked 
nearly  all  night.  During  their  conversation  that 
night  he  said  that  Mountain  Phil  was  a  very  bad 
man,  and  that  he  would  often  steal  their  horses  and 
sell  them  to  the  Comanches. 

"Next  morning  after  breakfast  our  horses  were 
brought  in,  saddled  up,  and  we  were  off  on  our 
journey  again  to  Cache  la  Poudre. 

"It  might  be  of  interest  to  our  readers  to  know 
how  this  stream  acquired  its  name.  There  was  a 
Frenchman  by  the  name  of  Virees  Robidoux  camped 
on  the  stream  spoken  of,  with  a  little  squad  of  men ; 
they  were  attacked  by  a  band  of  Indians,  and  the 
first  word  uttered  by  Robidoux  was  'Cache  la 
Poudre,'  which  means,  in  English,  'hide  the  pow- 
der,' and  from  that  time  on  the  stream  has  been  so 
called. 

"We  arrived  at  our  proposed  trapping  field  and, 
after  looking  over  the  country,  we  found  plenty  of 
beaver  signs  along  the  streams  and  game  in  abund- 
ance, and  Uncle  Kit  decided  there  was  room  enough 
for  four  camps.  We  returned  by  the  way  of  Bent's 
fort,  as  Uncle  Kit  wished  to  employ  the  best  men 
he  could  get  to  trap  for  him  the  coming  winter.  On 
our  way  to  the  fort,  which  was  four  hundred  miles 
from  the  proposed  trapping  ground.  Uncle  Kit  told 
me  that  he  would  have  to  leave  me  in  charge  the 
coming  winter,  as  he  was  going  to  the  City  of  Mex- 
ico on  business,  but  said  that  he  would  come  out 
and  get  the  camps  established  and  return  to  Taos 
with  the  horses  before  going  there. 

"We  found  plenty  of  men  at  Bent's  fort,  and,  as 
usual,  they  were  all  broke,  having  squandered  the 
money  earned  the  winter  before  for  whiskey  and  in 
card  playing.  Uncle  Kit  had  no  trouble  in  getting 
all  the  men  he  wanted,  but  had  to  furnish  them 
with  traps  and  provisions — which  took  considerable 
money — he  to  have  half  the  furs  caught  by  each  of 
them.  Everything  being  understood,  we  returned  to 
Taos,  the  men  agreeing  to  meet  us  there  two  weeks 
later.  They  were  all  on  hand  at  the  appointed 
time,  but  there  being  a  large  party  to  outfit,  it  took 
some  weeks  to  make  preparations  for  the  trip,  there 
being  eleven  in  the  crowd.  It  was  about  the  last  of 
October  when  we  arrived  at  the  trapping  ground 
ready  to  begin  work. 

"We  had  good  success  trapping  that  winter,  until 
about  the  first  of  January,  when  we  had  an  un- 
usually heavy  fall  of  snow  in  the  mountains,  which 
drove  all  the  game  to  the  low  lands,  nothing  being 
left  that  was  fit  for  m.eat  except  a  few  mountain 
sheep,  and  the  snow  made  it  very  inconvenient  get- 
ting around  to  attend  the  traps.     In  the  latter  part 

[32] 


of  February  I  asked  Charlie  Jones  one  day  to  go 
down  to  Mountain  Phil's  camp  and  see  if  there  was 
anything  that  he  wanted,  as  we  had  kept  all  the 
extra  supplies  at  our  camp.  Mountain  Phil  and  his 
Klooch — that  being  the  name  he  called  his  squaw, 
which  is  alfo  the  Arapahoe  name  for  wife — were 
staying  alone  about  ten  miles  further  down  the 
country  from  where  we  were  located.  On  Charlie 
Jones'  return,  he  said :  'It  seems  that  Mountain 
Phil  has  been  faring  better  than  any  of  us,  for  he 
has  been  able  to  kill  his  meat  at  camp,  thereby  sav- 
ing him  the  trouble  of  having  to  go  out  and  hunt 
for  it.'  Johnnie  and  I  did  not  understand  what  he 
meant  by  this.  So,  after  hesitating  a  moment,  Jones 
said :  'Boys,  if  I  should  tell  you  what  I  know  about 
Mountain  Phil,  you  would  not  believe  it,  but  as 
sure  as  you  live  he  has  killed  his  squaw  and  eaten 
most  of  her,  and  he  has  left  his  camp.' 

"We  insisted  that  he  must  be  mistaken,  but  he 
declared  that  he  was  not,  saying  he  had  seen  the 
bones  in  the  cabin,  and  further  investigation  de- 
veloped the  fact  that  he  had  beyond  any  doubt 
killed  and  eaten  his  Indian  wife.  From  that  time 
on,  "Mountain  Phil  went  by  the  name  of  the  Ameri- 
can Cannibal  until  his  death,  which  was — if  my 
memory  serves  me  right — in  1863  or  1864,  at  Vir- 
ginia City,  Montana. 

"It  was  in  the  month  of  April  that  Uncle  Kit 
came  in  with  a  pack  train  for  the  furs,  the  snowfall 
having  been  so  heavy  that  he  could  not  get  in  earlier. 
Our  catch  had  been  light,  as  we  had  more  snow  that 
winter  than  has  been  known  before  or  since  in  the 
history  of  that  country.  Uncle  Kit  was,  however, 
very  well  satisfied  with  our  work,  with  the  excep- 
tion of  Mountain  Phil,  whom  he  had  furnished  for 
the  winter,  and  who  had  not  caught  a  beaver.  We 
soon  had  our  traps  and  furs  together,  loaded  up  and 
were  on  our  way  to  New  Mexico.  The  third  day 
about  noon  we  reached  the  Cache  la  Poudre  cross- 
ing, where  we  again  ran  on  to  the  American  Can- 
nibal. We  stopped  here  to  let  our  horses  feed  and 
partake  of  refreshments  ourselves.  Uncle  Kit,  after 
giving  Mountain  Phil  a  lecture  for  his  past  conduct, 
said :  'Phil,  if  ever  you  and  I  are  out  together  in 
the  mountains  and  run  short  of  provisions,  I  will 
shoot  you  down  as  I  would  a  wolf,  before  you  get 
hungry.'  Phil  asked  him  why  he  would  do  so,  and 
Carson  replied:  'Because  I  wouldn't  take  the 
chance  of  being  killed  and  eaten  up  by  a  cannibal 
like  you.' 

"It  might  be  well  to  give  a  brief  description  of 
this  cannibal.  He  was  a  large,  raw-boned  man,  who 
would  weigh  about  two  hundred  and  fifty  pounds, 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER        COUNTY 


COLORADO 


though  he  was  not  fleshy.  He  always  wore  his  hair 
long  and  never  combed  it,  also  wore  his  beard  long 
and  never  sheared  or  combed  that.  His  hair  grew 
down  on  his  forehead  almost  to  his  eyes.  In  fact, 
he  looked  more  like  an  animal  than  a  human  being. 

"Three  days'  travel  brought  us  to  South  Platte, 
where  we  crossed  the  river  and  made  camp  on  a  lit- 
tle stream  called  Sand  creek.  From  here  we  pro- 
ceeded on  our  way  to  Santa  Fe,  which  took  us 
twelve  days.  Furs  being  still  higher  this  year,  not- 
withstanding our  small  catch.  Uncle  Kit  did  fairly 
well  out  of  his  winter  trapping  on  the  Cache  la 
Poudre." 
Crossing  the  Plains  in  the  Early  Sixties 

The  following  description  of  a  trip  across  the 
Plains  in  1862  was  read  by  Mrs.  Walter  D.  W. 
Taft  at  the  annual  banquet  of  the  Fort  Collins' 
Pioneer  Association  in  1910: 

"Railroad  and  steamboat  travel  ended  at  the  Mis- 
souri river  points — chiefly  St.  Joseph,  Mo. ;  Fort 
Leavenworth  and  Atchison,  Kan.,  and  at  Council 
Bluffs  and  Omaha,  farther  north. 

"From  these  points  the  travelers  going  to  'Pike's 
Peak'  were  obliged  to  depend  upon  vehicles  of  some 
sort  for  their  further  progress.  There  were  three 
ways  to  choose  from — by  stage  coach,  ox  team  and 
horse  or  mule  team.  The  stages  were  Concord 
coaches,  hung  on  thoroughbraces,  which  were  two 
huge  straps  made  of  leather  and  fixed  to  a  frame- 
work, one  on  each  side  upon  which  the  body  of  the 
coach  was  fastened.  By  them  all  jolting  was  pre- 
vented and  in  going  over  rough  places  gave  a  rock- 
ing motion — ^which  made  folks  who  were  inclined 
that  way  thoroughly  seasick — but  for  most  people 
was  an  easy  and  pleasant  motion. 

"The  time  was  six  days  from  Atchison  to  Denver 
— about  seven  hundred  miles — traveling  day  and 
night.  They  carried  the  mail.  On  the  inside  was 
room  for  nine  passengers.  The  fare  was  $75  to 
Denver  until  the  Indian  troubles  began,  then  it 
was  $175.  The  baggage  limit  was  twenty-five 
pounds,  besides  which  the  traveler,  for  his  own 
comfort,  took  a  pair  of  blankets  or  a  buffalo  robe 
and  a  supply  of  good  things  to  eat  (and  sometimes 
to  drink). 

"The  coaches  were  drawn  by  four  horses  which 
were  changed  every  ten  or  twelve  miles  at 
'swing  stations.'  They  stopped  at  the  'home  sta- 
tions' for  meals,  which  cost  $1.50.  The  menu  was 
decided  upon  by  the  stage  company  and  consisted  of 
bread,  meat,  beans,  dried  apples,  coffee  and  the 
'four  seasons.'  Sometimes  there  were  potatoes 
and,  as  I  remember,  canned  milk,  though  I  am  not 


sure.  I  know  they  did  not  always  have  fresh  milk. 
The  quality  of  the  meal  depended  upon  the  cook. 
A  good  cook's  reputation  as  such  was  known  for 
miles.  Our  Mrs.  Taylor  was  famous  far  up  and 
down  the  line  for  her  neat  and  attractive  dining- 
room  and  her  excellent  table,  at  which  was  served 
various  kinds  of  bread,  coffee  made  to  perfection 
and  the  variety  of  things  she  knew  what  to  do  with 
beans  and  dried  apples. 

"There  were  three  seats  in  the  coaches  and  room 
for  three  people  on  each  seat.  Lucky,  indeed,  was 
the  passenger  who  secured  a  corner  on  the  back  seat. 
If  one  did  not  mind  riding  backwards,  the  next  most 
desirable  places  were  the  two  corners  on  the  front 
seat.  The  use  of  the  middle  seat  was  optional, 
unless  there  were  more  than  six  passengers  aboard. 
The  back  of  this  seat  was  a  broad  strap  of  very 
thick  leather  and  could  be  removed.  It  was  a  case 
of  first  come,  first  served ;  the  seat  you  engaged  was 
yours,  and  woe  betide  the  poor  mortal  who  must 
take  the  middle  of  the  middle  seat  and  stay  there 
sitting  bolt  upright  for  six  days  and  nights?  At 
best  it  was  a  hard  ride  and  was  used  by  nabobs  and 
business  men  who  were  pressed  for  time. 

"Of  the  other  two  modes  of  crossing  the  Plains, 
each  had  its  advantages.  Mere  travelers,  those  who 
were  not  interested  in  freighting,  only  wanted  to 
cross,  took  passage  in  a  mule  or  horse  train,  as  bet- 
ter time  could  be  made.  It  generally  took  thirty 
days  to  come  from  St.  Joseph,  Mo.,  to  Denver,  for 
coming  west  the  wagons  were  loaded.  You  paid 
any  price  you  could  agree  upon  with  the  owner, 
from  $30  up,  and  during  the  Indian  troubles  as 
high  as  $85,  including  board.  Families  moving  out 
West  came  with  their  own  wagons,  driving  the  kind 
of  team  that  suited  them  best.  Travel  by  ox  team 
was  slower  but  cheaper ;  they  could  live  upon  grass. 
Horses  must  have  grain,  which  was  expensive  to 
buy,  and  when  carried  lessened  the  amount  of 
freight.  Six  weeks  was  the  time  necessary  for  an 
ox  team  to  make  the  trip.  They  traveled  about 
two  miles  an  hour,  and  were  used  by  heavy  freight- 
ers, as  they  could  haul  more  cheaply. 

"At  first,  until  the  Indian  troubles  began  in  '64, 
all  wagons  were  driven  independently.  After  that 
all  wagons  were  stopped  by  the  U.  S.  military  at 
Fort  Kearney  coming  west,  and  at  Camp  Ward- 
well  (now  Fort  Morgan)  going  east,  until  there 
was  a  number  of  armed  men  considered  sufficient 
for  their  own  protection ;  then  they  were  allowed  to 
proceed.  At  first  a  dozen  men  were  considered 
enough,  but  later  the  number  was  increased  to  fifty 
and  more  until  after  a  while  the  people  grew  afraid 


[33] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


and  liked  to  travel  in  large  companies.  I  have 
knowrn  of  two  such  companies  meeting,  one  com- 
ing west  and  the  other  going  east,  that  were  an 
hour  and  a  half  in  passing.  These  companies  were 
composed  of  several  trains,  as  the  wagons  belong- 
ing to  one  freighter  were  called,  and  many  single 
wagons;  each  train  had  a  wagon  boss,  and  from 
among  the  wagon  bosses  one  was  chosen  to  be  a  sort 
of  captain  of  the  entire  company. 

"It  was  interesting  when  the  day's  drive  was 
ended  to  see  such  a  company  go  into  camp.  Each 
train  pulled  out  of  line  and  went  to  the  place  chosen 
by  the  boss  to  corral.  The  single  wagons  were  ap- 
pointed places  with  them  by  the  captain.  Each 
wagon  boss  stood  in  the  center  of  his  selected 
ground  and  motioned  his  drivers  into  place  until  a 
ring  was  formed  of  wagons  with  only  a  narrow 
opening  in  one  place.  The  horses  and  mules  after 
being  watered  were  tied  to  the  wheels  on  the  inside 
of  the  ring.  The  oxen  were  turned  out  to  grass. 
Camp  fires  were  built  in  the  center;  some  got  sup- 
per, others  made  the  beds  while  the  teams  were  be- 
ing taken  care  of.  The  drivers  of  the  ox  teams  took 
turns  in  night  herding  their  cattle. 

"After  supper  was  a  time  for  social  enjoyment 
around  the  camp-fire.  Such  a  journey  was  by  no 
means  lacking  in  pleasure.  You  saw  all  sorts  of 
people.  Every  woman  was  shown  the  respect  due  a 
queen;  a  girl  received  homage  fit  for  a  goddess — 
anything  was  hers  for  the  accepting.  I  know,  for  I 
was  there. 

"The  air  was  clear,  the  stars  shone  brighter  than 
I  ever  saw  them  any  other  place.  The  road  was  a 
broad,  beautiful  driveway,  a  hundred  feet  or  more 
in  width;  for  miles  it  was  level  as  a  house  floor. 
Traveling  by  wagon  was  far  pleasanter  than  travel- 
ing by  coach.  You  knew  j'ou  were  to  be  a  long 
time  on  the  road  and  you  soon  ceased  to  be  in  any 
hurry;  you  were  at  home  whenever  night  come. 

"Then  when  the  journey  was  done  you  felt  as 
though  your  occupation  was  gone  and  a  pleasant 
epoch  was  ended." 

Crossing  the  Plains  in  1862 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  John  G.  Coy  crossed  the  Plains  in 
1862,  arriving  at  their  present  home,  three-quarters 
of  a  mile  east  of  Fort  Collins,  in  August  of  that 
year.  They  were  married  just  before  starting  for 
the  West  and  this  was  their  wedding  trip.  In  the 
following  story  of  their  trip,  its  incidents  and  hap- 
penings, read  at  the  annual  banquet  of  the  Fort  Col- 
lins' Pioneer  Association  on  Feb.  4th,   1909,  Mrs. 

[34] 


Coy  tells  how  they  traveled  and  of  their  experiences 
on  the  way: 

"We  started  from  Cuba,  Missouri,  bound  for 
California,  the  23rd  day  of  May,  1862,  with  three 
yoke  of  oxen  and  a  horse.  Some  of  the  oxen  were 
young  and  not  well  broken,  so  the  first  thing  we  had 
to  learn  was  how  to  catch  and  yoke  them.  When 
we  camped,  they  were  turned  out  to  graze  and  when 
we  wanted  them  we  found  they  would  not  let  us  go 
up  to  them  to  put  on  the  yoke,  so  we  took  a  long 
rope,  tied  one  end  to  the  wagon  wheel  or  a  tree  and 
made  a  slip  noose  in  the  other  and  laid  it  on  the 
ground  with  some  corn  in  the  loop.  When  an  ox 
came  up  to  get  the  corn  one  of  us  gave  the  rope  a 
quick  pull  and  caught  him  by  the  foot;  he  was  then 
tied  to  the  wagon  while  we  put  on  the  yoke;  there 
was  often  a  good  deal  of  difficulty  in  getting  the 
two  oxen  beside  each  other  to  yoke  them  together, 
but  in  time  they  learned  what  was  expected  of  them 
and  we  had  no  more  trouble.  We  made  about 
eight  miles  the  first  day,  when  we  camped  near  a 
small  stream  and  turned  the  oxen  out  to  graze, 
built  our  camp-fire  and  got  our  first  meal. 

"We  traveled  along  for  several  days  without  any- 
thing unusual  happening  until  just  before  we 
reached  the  Kansas  line.  One  afternoon  we  were 
crossing,  or  trying  to  cross,  a  muddy  stream,  the 
bridge  having  been  burned,  when  the  oxen  in  the 
lead  refused  to  pull  and  turned  around,  while  the 
wagon  kept  settling  in  the  mud  until  they  could  not 
pull  it  out;  so  there  we  were.  After  a  while  a  man 
came  along  on  horseback  and  began  inquiring  about 
the  war  and  about  the  soldiers.  Mr.  Coy  was  very 
much  worried  and  tired  and  I  think  not  in  a  very 
good  humor  and  did  not  answer  him  very  politely, 
so  when  he  started  away  he  said  we  should  hear 
from  him  again.  We  were  still  sticking  in  the  mud 
when  some  of  Uncle  Sam's  soldiers  came  along  and 
helped  us  out,  and  we  went  on  our  way  rejoicing. 
However,  we  had  only  gone  about  two  or  three 
miles  when  two  men  came  out  of  the  bushes  and 
halted  us  and  said,  'The  captain  sent  us  after  that 
gun.'  We  had  a  small  shotgun  hanging  in  front 
of  the  wagon  inside  the  bows.  Mr.  Coy  said,  'That 
is  nothing  but  a  little  shotgun.'  The  man  said, 
'Let  me  see  it,'  and  there  was  nothing  to  do  but  to 
give  it  to  him;  then  he  said,  'Hand  out  that  re- 
volver.' When  we  told  him  we  hadn't  one,  he 
said,  'I  will  search  the  wagon  and  if  I  find  one,  I 
will  kill  you.'  He  began  pulling  over  things  in  the 
wagon,  when  his  companion,  who  had  not  gotten 
off  his  horse,  said:  'Come  along!  I  don't  think 
they  have  one,'  so  they  rode  ofif.     By  the  way,  the 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY,    COLORADO 


one  who  did  the  talking  was  the  man  who  had 
called  on  us  when  we  were  in  the  mud  and  we  sus- 
pected they  were  afraid  the  soldiers  were  coming. 
We  went  a  few  miles  further  and  camped  near  a 
house ;  there  were  a  good  many  people  around  there 
and  some  of  them  seemed  to  be  stirring  all  night ; 
we  did  not  sleep  much  and  the  next  day  we  got  over 
into  Kansas  and  I  thought  we  were  much  safer. 
We  frequently  heard  of  the  guerillas  or  bush- 
whackers killing  someone  near  where  we  were 
camped,  but  none  of  them  ever  molested  us. 

"The  weather  was  warm  and  we  made  better 
time.  When  we  came  to  a  place  where  we  could  get 
wood  we  put  some  in  the  wagon  under  the  bed. 
We  did  not  need  much  except  when  we  baked 
bread.  I  used  to  start  the  bread  at  noon  and  cover 
it  over  closely  and  by  camping  time  it  would  be 
ready  to  put  in  the  Dutch  oven.  It  was  made  with 
the  home-made  yeast  cakes  and  was  always  good. 
Soon  after  coming  into  Kansas  we  passed  a  farm 
where  we  traded  the  horse  and  saddle  for  two  cows. 
We  had  been  traveling  alone,  expecting  to  overtake 
a  wagon  train  which  had  left  about  a  week  ahead  of 
us.  After  leaving  Atchison  we  made  about  twenty- 
five  miles  a  day  and  expected  to  overtake  the  train  in 
about  two  days  more.  We  reached  Kearney  one 
evening  after  dark  and  made  camp  for  the  night; 
the  cattle  were  very  tired  and  all  lay  down  by  the 
wagon.  In  the  morning,  three  oxen  and  a  cow  were 
gone.  Mr.  Coy  went  out  to  hunt  for  them  and  I 
stayed  by  the  wagon  all  that  day  and  night.  At 
noon  the  next  day,  Mr.  Coy  came  back  without 
having  seen  anything  of  the  missing  stock.  We 
yoked  up  the  three  oxen  and  one  cow  that  were  left 
and  went  back  two  or  three  miles  and  camped  beside 
the  river.  We  spent  ten  days  looking  for  the  lost 
cattle,  but  neither  saw  nor  heard  anything  of  them. 
While  waiting  here  I  saw  many  west-bound  trav- 
elers pass  by,  among  them  a  family  which  had  sev- 
eral wagons  and  were  taking  all  their  household 
effects  to  Central  City,  Colorado,  to  start  a  dairy. 
The  wagon  in  which  the  mother  and  children  rode 
was  drawn  by  fourteen  cows,  this  being  the  easiest 
way  to  get  the  cows  across  the  Plains. 

"Having  lost  half  of  our  teams  and  being  delayed 
so  long  we  concluded  that  it  was  too  late  to  go  on 
to  California  and  decided  to  go  to  Denver  and 
spend  the  winter.  We  were  obliged  to  make  our 
milch  cow  do  the  work  of  one  ox.  When  we 
reached  Cottonwood  we  found  four  parties  camped 
there.  I  recognized  them  as  some  of  the  people  who 
had  passed  while  I  was  waiting  by  the  river.  Hav- 
ing been  delayed  so  long  that  it  was  impossible  to 


overtake  the  people  we  had  hoped  to,  we  were 
delighted  to  fall  in  with  this  party.  In  one  wagon 
were  Mr.  Andrew  Ames,  his  mother  and  two  sis- 
ters; Mr.  Sidney  Stone  and  Miss  Fritz.  In  the 
second  were  Mr.  Platte,  Joshua  and  Orvand  Ames 
and  Mr.  Lon  Rhodes,  while  Mr.  Crane  and  family 
made  up  the  third  party  and  the  two  Snodderly 
brothers  the  fourth.  Mr.  Andrew  Ames  had  been 
in  Colorado  and  started  a  home  and  was  now 
bringing  his  mother  and  sisters  out.  Miss  Fritz, 
who  had  been  finishing  her  schooling  in  South  Bend, 
Indiana,  was  coming  to  join  her  family,  who  were 
already  located  here.  We  all  stayed  at  Cottonwood 
a  few  days  and  while  the  men  went  out  and  gath- 
ered wood  to  take  along,  the  women  all  did  their 
family  washings.  The  weather  was  very  warm  by 
this  time  so  we  started  early  in  the  morning  and 
took  long  noonings,  stopping  about  sundown  in  the 
evening.  It  was  usually  dark  before  we  got  our 
suppers  and  many  a  mosquito  lost  his  life  by  falling 
into  our  frying  pans. 

"When  we  reached  Fremont's  Orchard  the  sand 
was  so  deep  it  was  necessary  to  double  up  the  teams 
and  take  part  of  the  loads  across,  then  go  back  and 
get  the  rest.  We  got  up  before  daylight  and 
started  at  once  so  that  we  could  get  over  the  sand 
before  the  sun  got  too  hot.  The  women  all  walked 
and  everybody  was  nearly  famished  before  we  got 
our  breakfast  at  ten  or  eleven  o'clock. 

"We  crossed  the  Platte  at  Latham,  below  where 
Greeley  now  is.  Here  we  again  had  to  double  up 
the  teams  to  pull  through.  The  water  was  so  deep 
it  came  into  the  wagon  boxes;  the  bedding  was  all 
piled  into  one  wagon  which  was  higher  than  the 
others,  and  everything  that  water  would  hurt  was 
put  up  on  boxes.  The  women  climbed  upon  boxes 
and  bedding  and  rode  across,  but  the  men  had  to 
wade  waist  deep  through  the  water  to  guide  the 
oxen  and  keep  them  straight.  Without  crossing 
the  river,  Mr.  Crane  and  family  went  on  to  Denver, 
but  having  been  persuaded  to  come  on  with  the 
Ames  family  and  spend  the  winter  here,  we  came 
on  up  the  river  with  the  rest  of  the  train  and  came 
to  the  Cache  la  Poudre  about  4  o'clock  in  the  after- 
noon. We  made  our  last  night's  camp  on  a  high 
bluff  near  the  present  site  of  Greeley.  Looking 
down  from  this  bank  we  could  see  the  water  of  the 
Poudre  as  clear  as  crystal.  Helen  Ames,  who  was 
a  young  girl  at  that  time,  was  very  much  disap- 
pointed because  she  could  not  see  any  trout  in  the 
water. 

"Leaving  this  place  in  the  morning  we  reached 
the   Fritz   place,    afterward   Judge    Howes'    place, 

[35] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


about  four  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  on  the  first  day 
of  August.  This  was  on  Saturday  and  we  all 
camped  near  the  house.  On  Monday  we  moved 
into  a  little  log  cabin  which  stood  across  the  road, 
but  which  we  afterward  moved  onto  the  land  which 
we  took  up. 

"Taken  all  together,  we  had  a  good  time  crossing 
the  Plains  and  with  the  exception  of  the  scare  given 
us  by  the  bushwhacker  and  the  loss  of  our  teams, 
we  had  no  trouble  on  the  way.  We  passed  two  or 
three  camps  of  Indians,  but  they  were  all  peaceable 
and  we  were  never  molested  by  them." 

How  Pioneers  and  Freighters  Trav- 
eled Across  the  Plains 

In  May,  1865,  Hon.  Schuyler  Colfax,  Speaker 
of  the  National  House  of  Representatives,  who  was 
elected  Vice-President  in  1868  on  the  ticket  with 
General  Grant,  Lieutenant  Governor  Bross  of  Illi- 
nois and  senior  editor  of  the  Chicago  Tribune, 
Samuel  Bowles,  the  talented  editor  of  the  Spring- 
field (Massachusetts)  Republican,  and  Albert  D. 
Richardson  of  the  New  York  Tribune,  left  Atchi- 
son, Kansas,  in  Ben  HoUoday's  Overland  stage  for 
a  trip  across  the  continent.  Their  route  took  them 
from  Atchison  to  Julesburg,  thence  up  the  South 
Platte  to  Denver,  where,  in  the  mining  regions  to 
the  west  of  that  city,  they  remained  several  days, 
investigating  the  mining  possibilities  of  Colorado. 
From  there  they  journeyed  north,  crossing  the  Big 
Thompson  at  Washburn's  station,  thence  across  the 
country  to  the  Sherwood  Ranch  on  the  Cache  la 
Poudre  and  from  there  up  the  river  to  Laporte, 
where  the  stream  was  forded,  and  then  on  north  to 
Park  Station,  which  was  then  the  gateway  to  the 
mountains  on  this  route.  In  a  series  of  interesting 
letters  to  his  newspaper,  Mr.  Bowles  graphically  de- 
scribes the  experiences  of  the  party  on  the  trip,  and 
these  letters  were  afterwards  published  in  book 
form  under  the  caption  of  "Across  the  Continent." 
In  one  of  these  letters  Mr.  Bowles  tells  how  the 
emigrants  and  freighters  traveled  across  the  Plains; 
of  the  perils  that  beset  them  on  all  sides,  and  the 
hardships  they  endured  on  that  long,  wearisome 
journey  of  600  miles  from  the  Missouri  river  to  the 
mountains.  It  must  be  remembered  that  this  was 
six  years  after  the  great  stream  of  travel  set  in  from 
the  East  to  the  Pike's  Peak  region,  but  the  descrip- 
tion vividly  illustrates  the  methods  employed  in 
making  the  journey  from  the  earliest  date,  in  strik- 
ing contrast  with  the  experiences  of  the  westward 
traveler  after  the  railroads  were  built.     He  says: 

[36] 


"One  great  feature  in  the  constant  landscape  was 
the  long  trains  of  wagons  and  carts  with  their 
teams  of  mules  and  oxen,  passing  to  and  fro  on  the 
road,  going  in  empty,  coming  out  laden  with  corn 
for  man  and  beast;  with  machinery  for  the  mining 
regions,  with  clothing,  food  and  luxuries  for  the 
accumulating  population  of  Colorado,  Utah  and 
Montana,  and  all  intermediate  settlements.  The 
wagons  were  covered  with  white  cloth,  each  drawn 
by  four  or  six  pairs  of  mules  or  oxen,  and  the  trains 
of  them  stretched  frequently  from  one-quarter  to 
one-third  of  a  mile  each.  As  they  wound  along  in 
the  distance,  they  reminded  me  of  the  caravans  de- 
scribed in  the  Bible  and  other  ancient  books. 
Turned  out  of  the  road  on  the  green  prairie  for 
afternoon  rest  or  night's  repose,  the  wagons  drawn 
around  in  a  circle,  as  a  barricade  against  Indians,  or 
protection  against  storm,  and  the  animals  turned 
loose  to  feed  and  wander  over  the  surrounding 
prairie  for  a  mile — like  cattle  upon  a  thousand  hills ; 
at  night  their  camp  fires  burning; — in  any  portion 
or  under  any  aspect,  they  presented  a  picture  most 
unique  and  impressive,  indeed,  summoning  many  a 
memory  of  Oriental  methods.  The  mule  trains  made 
from  fifteen  to  twenty  miles  a  day;  and  the  oxen 
about  twelve  or  fifteen.  They  depended  entirely 
upon  the  grass  of  the  Plains  for  food  as  they  went 
along;  and  indeed  the  animals  grew  stronger  and 
fatter  as  they  moved  on  in  their  campaigns  of  work, 
coming  out  of  their  winter  rest  poor  and  scrawny 
and  going  back  into  it  in  the  fall  fat  and  hearty." 

It  was  thus,  that  before  the  Union  Pacific  rail- 
road was  built,  all  emigrants  and  merchandise 
moved  from  the  East  into  the  great  new  West,  and 
it  was  thus  the  pioneers,  who  first  settled  in  valleys 
of  Larimer  county,  covered  the  long,  dreary  stretches 
of  the  trackless  Plains  in  search  of  homes  in  the  wil- 
derness. 

Mr.  Bowles'  Second  Visit  to 
Colorado 

In  1868,  Mr.  Bowles,  editor  of  the  Springfield 
(Massachusetts)  Republican,  again  accompanied 
by  Hon.  Schuyler  Colfax  and  Hon.  William 
Bross,  Lieutenant  Governor  of  Illinois,  made  a  sec- 
ond trip  across  the  continent  to  the  Pacific  coast, 
this  time  by  rail  from  Omaha  to  Cheyenne,  over 
the  just  completed  Union  Pacific  railroad  to  the 
latter  point,  thence  by  stage  to  Denver,  passing 
through  Laporte,  Fort  Collins  and  the  Big  Thomp- 
son valley,  en  route.  From  Denver  the  party, 
augmented  by  the  addition  of  Governor  A.  C.  Hunt 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY,    COLORADO 


and  Dr.  W.  R.  Thomas,  then  an  attache  of  the 
Rocky  Mountain  News,  but  now  the  popular  and 
well-equipped  Professor  of  History  and  Irrigation 
Law  at  the  Colorado  State  Agricultural  College, 
made  the  circuit  of  Middle  and  South  parks,  trav- 
eled on  horseback  with  pack  animals,  and  camped 
out  much  of  the  time  where  night  overtook  them. 
They  visited  Golden,  Black  Hawk,  Central  City, 
Nevada,  Idaho  Springs,  Georgetown,  in  the  valley 
of  Clear  creek,  and  various  other  mining  camps  in 
Colorado,  interesting  mention  being  made  of  each 
in  Mr.  Bowles'  book  "Our  New  West,"  published 
in  1869.  On  this  trip  Mr.  Bowles  made  a  careful 
survey  of  the  agricultural  possibilities  of  Colorado, 
and  predicted  a  great  future  for  the  farming  and 
stock  growing  industries  of  the  State,  which  time 
has  since  fully  justified.  In  summing  up  his  ob- 
servation on  these  points  he  said : 

"But  inexhaustible  as  is  Colorado's  mineral 
wealth,  progressive  as  henceforth  its  development, 
predominating  and  extensive  as  its  mountains;  high 
even  as  are  its  valleys  and  plains,  in  spite  of  all 
seeming  possibilities  and  rivalries,  agriculture  is 
already  and  is  destined  always  to  be  its  dominant 
interest.  Hence  my  faith  in  its  prosperity  and  its 
influence  among  the  central  states  of  the  continent. 
For  agriculture  is  the  basis  of  wealth,  of  culture,  of 
morality;  it  is  the  conservative  element  of  all 
national  and  political  and  social  growth.  Full  one- 
third  of  the  territorial  extent  of  Colorado,  though 
this  third  average  as  high  as  Mount  Washington, 
is  fit,  more,  rich  for  agricultural  purposes.  The 
grains,  the  vegetables  and  fruits  of  the  temperate 
zone  grow  and  ripen  in  profusion,  and  through 
most  of  it,  cattle,  horses  and  sheep  live  and  fatten 
the  year  around  without  housing  or  feeding." 

After  speaking  of  the  need  of  irrigation  to  get 
the  best  results,  he  gives  a  rough  estimate  of  the 
agricultural  wealth  of  Colorado  for  1867  as  fol- 
lows: "A  million  bushels  of  corn,  half  a  million  of 
wheat,  half  a  million  of  barley,  oats  and  vegetables, 
fifty  thousand  head  of  cattle  and  seventy-five  thou- 
sand to  one  hundred  thousand  sheep.  The  increase 
in  1868  was  at  least  fifty  per  cent;  in  the  northern 
counties  at  least  one  hundred.  Indeed,  the  agricul- 
ture of  the  northern  counties,  between  Cheyenne 
and  Denver,  which  has  grown  to  be  full  half  of 
that  of  the  state,  is  the  development  almost  en- 
tirely of  the  last  three  years.  The  soil  yields  won- 
derfully, north  and  south.  *  *  *  But  hardly  a  be- 
ginning has  been  made  in  the  occupation  of  the 
arable  lands  of  the  valleys  and  plains.  The  Cache 
la   Poudre,   the   first   branch   of   the    Platte   below 


Cheyenne,  has  two  hundred  thousand  acres  of  till- 
able land,  only  five  thousand  of  which  are  as  yet 
cultivated.  Its  oat  crop  in  1868  averaged  forty- 
eight  and  one-half  bushels  to  the  acre,  and  its  cows 
paid  for  themselves  in  butter  in  that  single  year." 

The  figures  included  in  Mr.  Bowles'  estimate  of 
the  agricultural  productions  of  Colorado  in  1867, 
were  furnished  by  Dr.  W.  R.  Thomas,  who  had  very 
carefully  compiled  them  from  results  of  his  own 
personal  observation  while  covering  the  Territory 
as  the  traveling  correspondent  of  the  Rocky  Moun- 
tain News. 

That  Mr.  Bowles  possessed  the  spirit  of 
prophecy  when  he  predicted  in  1867  that  agricul- 
ture in  Colorado  is  destined  to  be  the  dominant  in- 
terest is  shown  by  comparing  the  figures  he  gives 
of  the  agricultural  products  of  the  entire  Territory 
for  that  year,  with  the  products  of  the  farms  and 
orchards  of  Larimer,  one  of  the  northern  counties 
alluded  to,  in  1909,  forty-two  years  later,  as  com- 
piled by  the  Fort  Collins  Courier.  They  were: 
Wheat  575,000  bushels,  oats  325,000,  barley 
255,000,  sugar  beets  350,000  tons.  Value  of  fruit 
crop  $300,q0,0,  value  of  alfalfa  crop  $200,000;  the 
total  value  of  all  crops,  including  native  hay,  onions, 
potatoes  and  other  vegetables,  being  $3,500,000. 
As  additional  evidence  of  the  growth  and  prosperity 
of  the  county,  it  may  here  be  stated  that  its  popu- 
lation has  increased  from  about  500  in  1867  to 
nearly,  if  not  quite,  25,000  in  1909,  and  that  its 
banks,  on  January  1st,  1910,  held  deposits  aggre- 
gating a  total  of  $3,448,965.58. 

Trip  of  Union  Pacific  Engineers 

In  the  fall  of  1866  a  party  of  Union  Pacific 
engineers,  accompanied  by  directors  of  the  Union 
Pacific  Railroad  company,  visited  Colorado  for  the 
purpose  of  examining  the  different  routes  which  had 
been  proposed  for  the  road  through  the  passes  of 
the  Rocky  Mountains.  Col.  Silas  Seymour,  con- 
sulting engineer,  was  a  member  of  the  party,  and  in 
a  very  interesting  little  volume,  entitled  "Incidents 
of  a  Trip  Through  the  Great  Platte  Valley  to  the 
Rocky  Mountains  and  Laramie  Plains,"  published 
by  him  in  1867,  we  find  a  good  deal  of  local  in- 
terest. After  examining  Berthoud  and  Boulder 
passes,  the  party  left  Denver  on  the  afternoon  of 
September  22,  by  Holloday's  Overland  stage  to  con- 
duct further  explorations  in  the  Black  Hills  north 
and  west  of  Laporte.  Concerning  this  trip.  Colonel 
Seymour  says: 

[37] 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER        COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


"We  reached  Laporte,  a  distance  of  sixty-seven 
miles  by  stage  road  from  Denver,  at  daybreak  on 
Sunday  morning,  and  found  most  comfortable 
quarters  at  the  stage  station  kept  by  Mf.  W.  S. 
Taylor,  and  were  joined  in  the  evening  by  General 
G.  W.  Dodge,  chief  engineer,  and  Mr.  James  A. 
Evans,  division  engineer  of  the  Union  Pacific  rail- 
road. 

"We  are  now  about  to  enter  in  real  earnest  upon 
the  rough  and  adventurous  features  of  our  excur- 
sion. General  Dodge  commenced  our  education 
by  intimating  in  the  most  gentle  manner  that  we 
would  be  expected  to  feed,  water  and  clean  our 
saddle-horse  during  the  trip.  Our  host  at  the 
station  also  informed  us  that  he  had  no  sleeping 
accommodations  for  us,  and  that  we  had  better  look 
around  for  lodgings. 

"In  view  of  such  an  emergency,  Mr.  Williams 
and  myself  had  fortunately  provided  ourselves  with 
plenty  of  buffalo  skins,  blankets  and  pouches.  We 
therefore  intimated  to  the  landlord  that  one  of  us 
would  occupy  the  lounge  in  the  corner  of  the  din- 
ing-room, and  the  other  would  sleep  on  the  floor 
near  the  stove.  Upon  this,  the  cook,  a  buxom  mid- 
dle-aged woman,  with  a  sucking  child,  called  out 
from  the  kitchen,  in  not  very  gentle  tones,  that 
"that  lounge  was  her  bed."  Mr.  Chamberlin,  an 
enterprising  merchant  in  the  vicinity,  here  came  to 
our  relief  and  kindly  offered  us  the  use  of  the  floor 
in  the  back  room  of  his  log  store,  which  we  were 
glad  to  accept. 

"The  following  day  we  spent  in  making  prepara- 
tions for  our  intended  reconnaissance  on  horseback 
of  the  Black  Hills  and  Laramie  Plains.  An  easy- 
going black  saddle-horse  was  procured  of  Mr. 
Chamberlin  for  the  use  of  Mr.  Williams.  A  chest- 
nut mare,  procured  by  General  Dodge  from  Fort 
Collins,  was  allotted  to  me.  He  had  previously 
selected  a  fine  roan  from  the  same  place  for  him- 
self, and  Mr.  Evans  adhered  to  a  large  black  mule 
which  he  had  been  riding  for  some  days  previously. 
He  very  kindly  offered  this  mule  to  Mr.  Evans, 
with  the  quiet  remark,  however,  that  he  was  apt  to 
buck  once  in  a  while,  which  meant,  as  he  after- 
wards explained,  that  he  would  occasionally  stick 
his  head  down  between  his  forelegs,  kick  up  behind 
and  throw  his  rider  off  over  his  head.  Mr.  Wil- 
liams, who  had  some  experience  with  mules  on  our 
trip  to  Berthoud  pass,  very  promptly  declined  the 
offer. 

"Hon.  Green  Clay  Smith,  Governor  of  Mon- 
tana, breakfasted  with  us  as  he  was  passing  through 

[38] 


with  his  suite,  by  stage,  on  his  way  to  the  scene  of 
his  future  labors. 

"On  Tuesday  morning,  September  25th,  our 
party,  consisting  of  Mr.  Williams,  General  Dodge, 
Mr.  Evans  and  myself,  started  from  Laporte,  fully 
mounted  and  equipped  as  cavalry,  and  armed  to  the 
teeth  with  breech-loading  carbines  dangling  from 
our  saddles,  and  revolvers  buckled  around  our 
waists,  accompanied  by  a  supply  wagon  in  charge  of 
Mr.  McLain,  one  of  Mr.  Evans'  assistants,  in 
which  were  our  bedding  and  such  supplies  as  we 
would  likely  want  on  our  trip.  Our  course  lay  up 
the  valley  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  a  few  miles,  and 
then  we  turned  more  northerly  and  followed  up  the 
valley  of  one  of  its  tributaries,  which  again  led  us 
into  the  valleys  of  the  Pitchfork,  Stonewall,  Poison 
and  Dale  creeks.  To  the  right  of  us,  toward  the 
Plains,  were  what  time  had  suffered  to  remain  of 
the  rough,  jagged  crests  of  the  secondary  forma- 
tions as  they  had  rested  from  the  great  upheaval  of 
their  portion  of  the  earth's  surface,  when,  during 
some  former  age.  Old  Vulcan  had  undoubtedly 
fallen  asleep  and  allowed  the  subterranean  fire, 
which  he  used  in  forging  those  immense  iron 
wedges  and  other  machinery  with  which  he  keeps 
the  Universe  in  equilibrium,  to  attain  too  great  a 
degree  of  heat. 

"To  the  left  of  us  were  the  higher  and  more  im- 
perishable debris  of  these  same  formations,  blanked 
in  the  distance  by  the  snow-clad  summits  of  the 
primeval  rocks,  which  have  for  so  many  centuries 
withstood  the  combined  attacks  of  time  and  the  ele- 
ments. The  objects  of  more  immediate  interest, 
however,  were  the  Stonewall  canon  with  its  perpen- 
dicular walls  of  rock  several  hundred  feet  in  height, 
and  the  Steamboat  Buttes,  which  from  a  distance 
presents  to  view  all  the  characteristics  of  a  steam- 
boat, with  upper  cabins,  chimney,  pilot-house,  etc., 
the  passer-by  pausing  unconsciously  to  hear  the  bell 
ring  and  the  familiar  cry  of  'all  aboard'  before  it 
shall  start  away. 

"Our  wagon,  having  followed  the  traveled  road 
which  we  were  compelled  in  a  great  measure  to 
avoid,  had  obtained  some  distance  the  start  of  us, 
and  we  did  not  overtake  it  until  about  2  :00  P.  M. 
Having  been  in  the  saddle  at  least  six  consecutive 
hours,  we  were  very  glad  to  dismount,  and,  after 
unsaddling,  watering  and  picketing  our  horses  and 
extending  ourselves  upon  the  grass  in  the  shade  of 
the  wagon,  partook  of  a  lunch  which  our  commis- 
sary had  made  ready  for  us,  after  which  a  ride  of 
three  hours  brought  us  to  Virginia  Dale,  one  of  the 
stations  of  the  Overland  Stage  Company." 


HISTORY    OF    LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


Our  explorers  passed  the  first  night  out  from 
Laporte  at  Virginia  Dale,  which  Colonel  Seymour 
describes  as  "a  most  beautiful  amphitheatre,  sur- 
rounded by  mountains,  with  Dale  creek  running 
through  the  center,  and  is  near  the  boundary  line 
between  Colorado  and  Dakota."  The  next  day 
they  followed  up  Dale  creek  to  Antelope  pass, 
where  they  obtained  the  first  view  of  Laramie 
plains,  "extending  as  far  to  the  Northward  as  the 
eye  could  reach,  bounded  on  the  east  by  the  Black 
Hills  and  on  the  west  by  the  much  higher  range 
of  the  Medicine  Bow  Mountains,  which  form  the 
easterly  side  of  the  North  Park."  That  night  was 
spent  at  Fort  Saunders,  built  to  take  the  place  of 
Fort  Halleck  and  Camp  Collins.  On  Friday, 
September  28th,  the  party  started  eastward,  diverg- 
ing near  Willow  Springs  station  in  a  more  north- 
erly direction,  crossing  the  Black  Hills  at  Evans' 
pass,  and  going  into  camp  for  the  night  on  Dale 
creek.  The  next  night  they  camped  on  Lone  Tree 
creek,  and  on  Sunday  afternoon  they  went  into 
camp  on  Boxelder  creek  near  what  is  now  known 
as  the  Bristol  ranch  after  a  lunch  in  the  middle  of 
the  day  at  Jack  Springs.  On  Monday,  the  30th, 
they  reached  Laporte,  where  they  spent  the  night, 
Mrs.  Taylor  serving  them  an  excellent  supper  of 
antelope  steak  and  other  fixings.  On  the  evening 
of  October  1st,  Colonel  Seymour  and  Mr.  Wil- 
liams took  the  stage  for  Denver,  going  thence  east 
in  the  Overland  stage  to  Fort  Kearney,  where  they 
boarded  a  special  train  on  the  Union  Pacific  rail- 
road for  Omaha.  As  a  result  of  his  observations 
on  this  trip,  Mr.  Williams,  who  seems  to  have  been 
imbued  with  prophecy,  declared: 

"First — That  the  great  Platte  valley,  extending 
as  it  does,  in  a  direct  line  eastward,  nearly  600 
miles  from  the  base  of  the  Rocky  Mountains  to  the 


Missouri  valley,  was  intended  as  the  great  thor- 
oughfare for  the  overland  commerce  of  the  world. 

"Second — That  the  Platte  river  itself  was  in- 
tended, in  the  first  instance,  to  supply  water  to  the 
early  pioneers  and  emigrants  in  their  pilgrimage  to 
and  from  the  Rocky  Mountains;  and  subsequently 
to  afford  the  means  for  irrigating  the  immense 
plains  along  its  borders,  and  thus  render  it  event- 
ually one  of  the  finest  pastoral  and  agricultural 
regions  upon  the  continent,  and 

"Third- — The  perpetual  snows  upon  the  moun- 
tains were  intended  to  furnish  an  unfailing  supply 
of  water  to  all  the  mountain  streams  which  flow 
into  the  Platte,  and,  thus  during  all  time,  afford 
the  means  of  irrigation  to  the  extensive  table-lands 
along  the  eastern  base  of  the  mountains." 

Mr.  Williams'  predictions  have  been  fulfilled. 
The  valley  of  the  South  Platte  and  its  tributaries 
from  Julesburg  to  the  base  of  the  mountains  are 
now  thickly  settled  by  intelligent,  industrious  and 
prosperous  communities,  and,  several  large  and 
thrifty  cities  may  be  found  where  only  the  prairie 
dog  and  sneaking  coyote  held  dominion  when  Mr. 
Williams  traveled  in  the  Overland  stage  from 
Denver  to  Fort  Kearney.  What  Captain  Long  de- 
clared in  the  report  of  his  exploration  in  1819-20, 
"a  barren  region  unfit  for  the  habitation  of  civilized 
man,"  is  now  teeming  with  the  life  and  activity  of 
large  and  prosperous  communities  that  have  grown 
up  through  the  magic  of  irrigation  and  the  appli- 
cation of  the  life-giving  waters  of  the  streams  that 
flow  down  from  the  snow-tipped  summits  of  the 
mountains ;  through  irrigation  and  the  genius  and  en- 
terprise of  man,  the  Great  American  desert  has  been 
made  to  "bloom  like  the  rose,"  and  those  portions  of 
it  that  can  be  brought  under  cultivation  through  the 
wise  application  of  water,  are  today  acknowledged 
to  be  the  most  productive  sections  of  the  country. 


[39] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


ized  during  the  summer  months  by  tourists  from 
the  Eastern  states.  The  scenic  attractions  of  the 
county  and  its  charming  summer  resorts,  with  their 
hunting  and  fishing  privileges,  magnificent  moun- 
tain views,  so  easily  accessible,  are  yearly  attracting 


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AN    ARAPAHOE    WIGWAM 

more  and  more  attention.  Indeed,  Larimer  county, 
as  a  whole,  for  utility,  beauty  and  for  grandeur, 
picturesqueness  and  variety  of  attractions  is  not  sur- 
passed in  the  Rocky  Mountain  region.  Splendid 
crops  of  grain,  potatoes,  fruit,  alfalfa  and  native 
hay  are  produced  in  the  valleys,  glades  and  parks 
of  the  foothills,  mountain  potatoes  being  especially 
noted  for  their  superior  excellence  over  those  grown 
on  the  Plains. 

There  are  approximately  400  square  miles,  or 
about  256,000  acres,  of  plain  land  lying  between 
the  hogbacks,  as  they  are  called,  and  the  east  line 
of  the  county,  and  it  was  in  the  valleys  of  the 
streams  crossing  these  lands  from  west  to  east  that 
the  principal  settlements  were  first  made  and  also 
where  the  first  attempts  were  made  at  farming  in 
Northern   Colorado.     The   thrifty   towns   of   Fort 


Collins,  Loveland,  Berthoud,  Wellington  and 
Timnath  are  located  on  these  lands  and  agriculture 
has  reached  its  highest  stage  of  development  in  their 
vicinity.  This  narrow  strip  of  plain  land  now  con- 
tains and  supports  a  population  of  about  24,000 
people  and  the  population  of  the  entire  county  is 
25,270. 

In  1880-81,  prospectors  discovered  a  number  of 
rich  silver-bearing  leads  on  the  northern  slope  of 
the  Rabbit  Ear  range  of  mountains,  in  the  south- 
eastern corner  of  North  Park,  then  a  part  of  Lari- 
mer county,  and  these  discoveries  being  made 
known  soon  attracted  wide  attention.  Hundreds 
rushed  in  to  secure  claims  and  a  bustling  mining 
camp  was  established  which  was  named  Teller,  in 
honor  of  United  States  Senator-  H.  M.  Teller.  A 
daily  mail  by  a  line  of  stages,  operated  by  S.  B. 
Stewart,  was  established  from  Fort  Collins  to 
Teller  in  1881,  the  route  passing  through  Liver- 
more,  Rustic,  Chambers  Lake  and  thence  over 
Cameron  pass  into  the  camp.  The  town  grew 
rapidly,  like  all  mining  camps,  and  in  the  latter 
part  of  1881  had  a  population  estimated  as  from 
1,200  to  1,500  souls.  Stores  and  a  hotel  were 
opened,  a  newspaper  called  the  Teller  Miner  was 
established,  and  active  development  work  in  the 
mines  was  started.  A  daily  stage  was  also  put  on 
between  Laramie  City,  Wyo.,  and  Teller,  and  con- 
ditions at  that  time  looked  very  promising.  Some 
two  or  three  years  before  this,  however,  the  rich 
pasture  lands  of  North  Park  had  attracted  the  at- 
tention of  stockmen,  and  several  thousand  head  of 
cattle  were  driven  into  the  park  in  1878-79,  and  a 


INDIAN  WOMEN  AND  CHILDREN 

number  of  big  ranches  were  established  on  the 
North  Platte  and  tributary  streams,  so  that  by 
1882   the  park  contained   a  large  amount  of   tax- 

[41] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


able  property.  That  year  a  controversy  arose  be- 
tween the  counties  of  Grand  and  Larimer  over  the 
jurisdiction  of  the  park,  both  claiming  it  and  each 
contending  for  the  right  to  assess  and  collect  taxes 
from  the  property  holders.  The  controversy  arose 
over  the  construction  of  the  act  of  the  Territorial 
Legislature  creating  Larimer  county,  the  latter 
claiming  that,  according  to  the  boundaries  estab- 
lished by  the  act,  its  jurisdiction  extended  to  the 
summit  of  the  Snowy  range,  or  the  Continental 
Divide.  Grand  county,  on  the  other  hand,  con- 
tended that  the  western  boundary  line  of  Larimer 
county  rested  upon  the  summit  of  the  Medicine 
Bow  range,  a  spur  of  the  main  range.  The  Com- 
missioners of  Larimer  county  refused  to  accept 
this  construction  of  the  act,  and  the  dispute  finally 
got  into  the  courts  when  Grand  county  sought  to 
enjoin  the  Commissioners  of  Larimer  county  from 
exercising  any  jurisdiction  over  North  Park. 

The  hearing  on  the  application  for  the  writ  of 
injunction  was  had  in  the  district  court  of  Summit 
county  before  Judge  Luther  M.  Goddard,  later  a 
Justice  of  the  Supreme  court,  and  the  writ  denied. 
Grand  county  appealed  to  the  Supreme  court 
which,  in  1886,  affirmed  the  decision  of  the  lower 
court,  thus  putting  an  end  to  a  dispute  that  had 
caused  a  great  deal  of  ill-feeling.  The  opinion  of 
the  Supreme  court  was  written  by  S.  H.  Elbert  and 
clearly  established  the  western  boundary  of  Lari- 
mer county  on  the  summit  of  the  Snowy  range,  or 
Continental  Divide,  and  also  the  county's  right  to 
exercise  full  jurisdiction  over  North  Park. 

Messrs.  Haynes,  Dunning  &  Annis  of  Fort  Col- 
lins represented  Larimer  county,  and  Messrs.  W.  I. 
Hughes  and  Hugh  Butler  of  Denver  appeared  for 
Grand  county. 

The  principal  water  courses  of  the  county  are  the 
Cache  la  Poudre  and  the  Big  Thompson  rivers  and 
the  Little  Thompson  creek.  The  two  first  named 
have  their  sources  high  up  among  the  mountain 
ranges  which  form  the  western  boundary  of  the 
county,  the  last  named  among  the  high  hills  sepa- 
rating Estes  Park  from  the  Plains  and  discharges 
its  waters  into  the  Big  Thompson  river  a  few  miles 
above  the  latter's  junction  with  the  South  Platte. 
The  Big  Thompson  heads  in  Estes  Park  among  the 
snow-capped  peaks  of  the  Continental  Divide,  flows 
an  easterly  course  through  the  park  and  empties 
into  the  Platte  a  short  distance  southwest  of  Evans. 
The  Cache  la  Poudre  heads  in  Chambers  lake, 
situated  at  an  elevation  of  more  than  9,000  feet 
above  sea  level.  The  lake  is  fed  by  several 
small  streams  which  head  on  the  eastern  slope  of 

[42] 


the  Medicine  Bow  range.  From  the  lake  the 
stream  pursues  a  zigzag  course  through  deep,  dark 
canons  whose  granite  walls  often  rear  their  heads 
1,500  feet  above  the  bed  of  the  stream,  finally  de- 
bouching on  to  the  Plains  about  four  miles  west  of 
Laporte.  From  this  point  the  stream  flows  a  south- 
easterly course  and  empties  into  the  Platte  a  few 
miles  east  of  Greeley.  Among  the  principal  tribu- 
taries are  the  Big  and  Little  South  forks,  which 
come  into  the  main  stream  high  up  in  the  moun- 
tains from  the  southwest;  the  North  fork,  which 
flows  down  from  the  northwest  and  discharges  its 
waters  into  the  main  stream  about  fifteen  miles 
above  the  city  of  Fort  Collins;  the  Boxelder  creek, 
which  heads  up  near  the  Wyoming  line,  flows  a 
southeasterly  course  and  empties  into  the  Poudre 
about  five  miles  southeast  of  Fort  Collins.  The 
principal  tributaries  of  the  Big  Thompson  are  Fall 
river,  which  joins  the  main  stream  in  Estes  Park; 
the  North  fork  and  the  Buckhorn.  It  is  from  these 
main  streams,  after  they  reach  the  Plains,  that 
water  is  drawn  through  an  extensive  system  of 
canals  and  ditches  for  use  in  irrigating  the  culti- 
vated fields  and  meadows  of  the  farmers.  In  the 
mountains  the  water  of  the  strearns  flows  with 
great  velocity  over  rocks  and  ledges  and  are  ex- 
ceedingly turbulent  in  flood  times.  After  they 
reach  the  Plains,  vvhere  -the  fall  of  the  country  is 
less,  they  take  on  a  tamer  mood  and  flow  over 
pebbly  bottoms  in  a  quiet  and  orderly  manner. 
They  are  all  beautiful  mountain  streams,  carrying 
clear,  cool  water,  and  are  well  stocked  with  trout. 
The  Laramie  river  rises  in  the  Medicine  Bow 
Mountains  a  short  distance  northwest  of  Chambers 
lake,  flows  a  northerly  course  into  Wyoming  and 
empties  into  the  North  Platte  a  few  miles  below 
Fort  Laramie.  At  some  time  in  the  distant  past 
the  head  waters  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  flowed  into 
the  Laramie,  but  some  convulsion  of  Nature  filled 
the  channel  and  turned  the  stream  into  a  deep  de- 
pression known  as  Chambers  lake.  From  this  lake 
the  water  forced  its  way  through  the  hills  in  an 
easterly  direction  and  formed  the  Cache  la  Poudre 
river.  The  origin  of  the  names  of  these  streams 
will  be  given  elsewhere  in  this  volume. 

Larimer  county  was  named  in  honor  of  General 
William  Larimer,  one  of  the  early  settlers  of  Den- 
ver, whose  name  and  memory  are  intimately  asso- 
ciated with  the  early  history  of  Colorado.  General 
Larimer  was  born  in  Westmoreland  county,  Penn- 
sylvania, October  9th,  1809.  On  reaching  man- 
hood he  became  prominently  identified  with  business 
affairs  in  and  near  Pittsburg,  engaged  in  banking. 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER 


COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


and  was  the  projector  and  President  of  the  Pitts- 
burg &  Connellsville  railroad,  now  a  part  of  the 
Baltimore  &  Ohio  system.  After  the  panic  of 
1857  he  located  in  Nebraska,  and  later  at  Leaven- 
worth, Kansas.  He  came  to  Colorado  in  Novem- 
ber, 1858,  as  one  of  the  famous  "Leavenworth 
Men,"  who  founded  Denver  City  on  the  eastward 
side  of  Cherry  creek,  as  a  rival  to  "Auraria"  on  the 
westward  side.  He  was  Treasurer  of  the  town 
company,  and  a  leader  among  Denver's  pioneers. 
There  was  a  strong  sentiment  in  the  Territory  in 
favor  of  having  him  appointed  the  first  Governor  of 
Colorado,  which  was  reinforced  by  several  men 
prominent  in  Washington,  but  it  was  unable  to 
overcome   the   influence    that   favored   the   appoint- 


INDIAN  BABY  CARRIAGE 

ment  of  Gilpin.  General  Larimer  bore  an  active 
part  in  securing  men  for  the  Colorado  Union  regi- 
ments at  the  outbreak  of  the  Civil  War,  and  was 
appointed  Colonel  of  the  Third  Colorado,  but  as 
that  embryo  organization  was  merged  into  the 
Second  Colorado,  his  commission  did  not  take  him 
into  active  service.  General  Larimer  went  back  to 
Eastern  Kansas  in  1864,  located  on  a  farm  near 
Leavenworth,  where  he  died,  May  16,  1875.  Dur- 
ing his  residence  in  Colorado  he  was  one  of  the  most 
popular  men  of  pioneer  time.  In  addition  to  hav- 
ing one  of  the  counties  of  the  Territory  named  for 
him,  one  of  the  principal  business  streets  of  Denver 
was  also  given  his  name.  A  portrait  of  General 
Larimer  appears  in  this  volume. 

Under  Three  Flags 

Larimer  county  was  a  part  of  Louisiana 
province,  which  the  United  States  purchased  of 
France  in  1803  for  $15,000,000.  Among  the  first 
visitors  to  Louisiana  were  the  Spanish  men-at-arms 
of  DeSoto's  expedition,  under  Muscogo,  who,  after 


the  death  of  their  chief,  in  1542,  descended  the  Mis- 
sissippi river  in  rude  ships  and  went  out  to  sea.  In 
1682  the  brave  Sieur  de  La  Salle  floated  down  the 
great  river  from  the  Illinois  river  to  the  Gulf,  and 
took  possession  of  the  country  in  the  name  of 
France,  erecting  pillars  on  the  banks  of  the  Missis- 
sippi to  show  that  it  was  French  territory.  In 
1699  another  expedition  was  sent  from  France  to 
Louisiana  under  Iberville.  The  first  settlement  in 
Louisiana  was  made  by  Iberville,  seventy  miles  up 
the  Mississippi,  in  1700,  as  a  military  colony,  to 
prevent  the  English  from  ascending  the  river. 
Louisana  was  given  to  Antoine  Crozat  in  1712, 
with  exclusive  control  from  Canada  to  the  Gulf. 
Six  years  later,  Crozat  relinquished  this  vast  but 
unprofitable  empire,  and  it  passed  into  the  posses- 
sion of  the  Western  Company,  organized  by  John 
Law.  In  1764  the  Louisianans  were  notified  that 
their  country  had  been  ceded  to  Spain  and  the  next 
year  Antonio  de  Ulloa  arrived  to  become  Governor. 
The  people  were  opposed  to  Spanish  rule,  and 
finally  taking  possession  of  New  Orleans,  they  sent 
Ulloa  away  on  an  outbound  ship,  and  established  a 
government  of  their  own,  sending  delegates  to 
France  to  ask  the  King  to  again  occupy  Louisiana. 
Their  requests  being  refused,  the  insurgents  con- 
templated the  establishment  of  a  republic;  but  in 
1769  Don  Alexander  O'Reiley  arrived  as  the  Span- 
ish Governor,  with  2,600  troops  and  fifty  guns. 
The  rebellion  was  suppressed,  and  its  leaders  were 
shot  on  the  Plaza  de  Armas  at  New  Orleans.  At 
that  time  the  province  was  defined  as  extending 
northwest  to  the  source  of  the  Mississippi,  and  west- 
ward to  the  Pacific  ocean.  In  1801  the  great 
province  was  ceded  back  to  France,  but  the  treaty 
was  kept  secret.  Napoleon  intended  to  send  to 
Louisiana  General  Victor  and  25,000  choice  French 
troops,  to  firmly  establish  a  New  France  on  the 
American  continent.  But  the  supremacy  of  Great 
Britain  on  the  sea  rendered  this  move  impossible, 
and  left  the  country  without  defense.  Unable  to 
garrison  the  new  domain,  and  fearing  that  England 
would  sieze  it.  Napoleon  made  haste  to  sell  the 
province  to  the  United  States,  for  $15,000,000. 

From  the  foregoing  it  will  be  seen  that  Larimer 
county  was  under  the  Spanish  standard  from  1542 
to  1682,  a  period  of  140  years.  It  then  passed 
under  French  control  and  was  French  territory 
until  1764,  when  Spain  again  came  into  possession 
of  the  province  and  held  dominion  over  it  until  it 
was  ceded  back  to  France,  in  1801.  Two  years 
later  the  country  came  under  the  folds  of  the  Stars 
and  Stripes,  where,  let  us  hope,  it  will  remain  while 

[43] 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER        COUNTY 


COLORADO 


the  world  stands.  It  has  been  twice  under  the 
Spanish  flag,  twice  under  the  French  tri-colors,  and 
now  adds  brilliancy  to  the  fortieth  star  in  the 
firmament  that  graces  the  American  flag. 

First  Settlement 

Larimer  county  was  created  and  established  by 
an  act  of  the  first  Territorial  Legislature  of  Colo- 
rado, which  met  in  Denver,  Sept.  9th,  1861,  but  it 
was  not  organized  for  judicial  purposes  until  three 
years  later.  The  first  white  settlement  in  the  county 
was  made  at  Laporte,  some  say  about  eighty 
years  ago.  It  is  certain  that  there  were  white  men, 
Canadian  trappers,  with  Indian  wives,  living  at  La- 
porte in  1828.  The  late  Philip  Covington,  father 
of  H.  C.  Covington  of  Laporte,  and  M.  M.  Cov- 
ington of  Seattle,  Washington,  passed  through  this 
country  that  year  with  a  caravan  loaded  with  sup- 
plies for  the  American  Fur  Company,  then  operat- 
ing on  Green  river,  and  remembers  seeing  French 
trappers  at  Laporte.  These  people  were,  however, 
migratory,  here  today  and  there  tomorrow,  their 
homes  being  established,  temporarily,  where  there 
was  the  best  trapping,  and  no  permanent  settlement 
was  made  until  several  years  afterwards.  Antoine 
Janis,  a  native  of  Missouri,  born  of  French  parents, 
is  believed  to  have  been  the  first  permanent  white 
settler  in  all  that  part  of  Colorado  north  of  the 
Arkansas  river.  He  staked  out  a  squatter's  claim 
on  the  river  bottom  a  short  distance  west  of  La- 
porte in  1844,  and  resided  upon  it  until  1878,  when 
he  moved  to  Pine  Ridge  Agency  to  join  the  tribe  of 
Indians  to  which  his  wife  belonged,  where  he  died 
a  few  years  ago.  Years  before  this  time  the  Cache 
la  Poudre  valley  had  been  traversed  by  caravans 
transporting  goods  and  supplies  for  the  fur  trading 
posts  on  Green  river,  and  Mr.  Janis'  father  had 
often  made  the  trip  from  St.  Louis  to  Green  river 
as  captain  of  a  caravan.  On  one  occasion,  in  1836, 
Antoine,  then  a  boy  twelve  years  of  age,  ac- 
companied his  father,  the  route  followed  taking 
them  through  this  valley,  going  and  coming.  It 
was  on  this  trip  that  the  river  was  named  "Cache 
la  Poudre"  from  a  circumstance,  an  account  of 
which  is  related  elsewhere  in  this  volume.  In 
February,  1883,  the  editor  of  the  Fort  Collins 
Courier  addressed  a  letter  to  Mr.  Janis  at  Pine 
Ridge  Agency,  requesting  him  to  furnish  the  writer 
for  publication  such  facts  and  dates  relating  to  the 
early  settlement  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  valley  as 
he  possessed.  To  this  request  Mr.  Janis  replied  as 
follows : 

[44] 


"Pine  Ridge  Agency,  March  17,  1883. 

"My  Dear  Mr.  Watrous:  In  regard  to  the  early 
history  of  the  Poudre  valley,  I  will  say  that  as  one 
of  the  party  I  have  in  my  possession  all  the  facts 
relating  to  its  first  settlement,  including  names  of 
persons,  day  and  dates.  On  the  first  of  June,  1844, 
I  stuck  my  stake  on  a  claim  in  the  valley,  intending 
the  location  selected  for  my  home  should  the  coun- 
try ever  be  settled.  At  that  time  the  streams  were 
all  very  high  and  the  valley  black  with  buffalo.  As 
far  as  the  eye  could  reach,  nothing  scarcely  could  be 
seen  but  buffalo.  I  was  just  returning  from  Mexico, 
and  I  thought  the  Poudre  valley  was  the  loveliest 
spot  on  earth,  and  think  so  yet. 

"The  gold  fever  broke  out  in  1858.  Soon  after 
locating  my  claim  I  moved  over  from  Fort  Laramie 
and  settled  on  it.  The  place  is  just  above  Laporte, 
and  is  owned  by  Tobe  Miller  (Joseph  Hammerly 
is  now  the  owner  of  the  place).  One  hundred  and 
fifty  lodges  of  Arapahoes  moved  there  with  me  at 
the  same  time.  They  asked  me  if  I  wanted  to  settle 
there.  I  told  them  I  did.  Bold  Wolf,  the  chief, 
then  called  a  council  of  braves,  who  finally  gave  us 
permission  to  locate,  and  donated  to  us  all  the  land 
from  the  foot  of  the  mountains  to  the  mouth  of 
Boxelder  creek.  The  donees  were  E.  Gerry,  Nicho- 
las Janis,  and  myself.  In  the  winter  of  1858-9 
settlers  commenced  flocking  in. 

"A  company  was  formed  composed  of  Nicholas 
Janis,  E.  Gerry,  Todd  Randall,  Raymond  B.  Good- 
win, John  B.  Provost,  Oliver  Morisette,  A.  LeBon, 
Ravofiere  and  others,  which  located  a  town  site  and 
called  it  Colona.  We  had  the  site  surveyed  and 
mapped  out;  and  built  fifty  houses. 

"I  was  born  in  St.  Charles,  Missouri,  March  26, 
1824.  First  came  to  Colorado  in  1844.  You  ask 
me  all  the  particulars.  It  would  consume  a  great 
deal  of  time  to  give  to  you  in  full  detail,  and  my 
health  has  been  such  this  winter  that  I  dare  not  un- 
dertake the  task.  Have  been  away,  or  I  should  have 
answered  your  kind  letter  before. 

"Antoine  Janis." 

At  one  time  Mr.  Janis  and  his  brother  Nicholas 
were  employed  as  scouts  and  guides  in  Colorado 
and  Wyoming,  and  they  frequently  visited  Fort 
Laramie  for  supplies  and  mail.  Their  names  appear 
often  in  Coutant's  history  of  Wyoming.  Antoine 
was  still  a  resident  of  Laporte  when  I  came  to  Fort 
Collins  in  1877,  and  he  was  highly  regarded  as  a 
man,  neighbor  and  citizen  by  all  the  early  settlers 
of   the  valley. 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


Fremont  had  but  barely  begun  his  venturesome 
explorations  of  passageways  through  the  Rocky 
Mountains  to  the  Pacific  coast ;  St.  Louis  was  but  a 
small  trading  post  on  the  Mississippi;  Chicago  still 
in  its  infancy;  only  a  small  portion  of  the  vast 
region  between  the  Missouri  river  and  the  Pacific 
had  been  explored  and  it  was  practically  destitute 
of  the  habitations  of  white  men,  when  Janis  located 
in  the  Cache  la  Poudre  valley.  Lewis  and  Clark 
had  made  their  famous  journey  to  the  headwaters 
of  the  Missouri  river,  and  thence  across  the  mount- 
ains to  Oregon  and  return.     Lieut.  Zebulon  Pike 


A  PIONEER'S  HOME 

had  discovered  Pike's  Peak,  and  explored  a  small 
portion  of  Colorado,  and  Maj.  Long  had  crossed  the 
Plains  a  little  more  than  a  score  of  years  before  and 
erected  a  lasting  monument  to  his  memory  in  the 
discovery  of  Long's  Peak.  The  American  Fur 
Company  had  established  trading  posts  in  Western 
Wyoming  and  Eastern  Idaho,  but  outside  the  trails 
made  by  these  explorers  and  fortune  hunters,  little 
was  known  of  what  is  now  Colorado  when  Antoine 
Janis  ventured  into  the  Cache  la  Poudre  valley  in 
1844. 

In  1858,  fourteen  years  later,  John  B.  Provost, 
Francis  and  Nicholas  Janis,  Antoine  Le  Beau,  Todd 
Randall,  E.  W.  Raymond,  B.  Goodman,  Oliver 
Morrisette  and  others  came  down  from  Fort  Lar- 
amie with  their  families,  looking  for  the  most  prom- 
ising site  for  a  town.  After  skirting  the  hills  as  far 
south  as  Denver,  the  party  returned  north  to  the 
"river  of  the  hidden   powder"   and  located  on  its 


banks  a  town  to  be  known  as  Colona.  This  marks 
the  first  community  settlement  made  in  Larimer 
county,  and  from  this  nucleus  the  region  has  de- 
veloped into  the  present  populous  and  prosperous 
county,  dotted  with  farms,  towns  and  cities.  The 
projectors  of  the  town  of  Colona  recognized  that 
in  the  Cache  la  Poudre  valley  would  some  day  be 
built  up  a  large  and  prosperous  community. 

With  the  Great  Plains  extending  eastward  for 
hundreds  of  miles,  the  mountains  to  the  west  cover- 
ed with  valuable  timbers,  overrun  with  game  and 
seamed,  as  they  believed,  with  vast  mineral  de- 
posits ;  the  snow-fed  streams  and  a  climate  unequal- 
ed  in  the  north  temperate  zone,  these  hardy  men  de- 
cided to  build  themselves  homes  and  await  the 
rolling  in  of  a  tide  of  immigrants  that  would  result 
in  the  upbuilding  of  a  country  that  would  "blossom 
as  the  rose"  and  grow  rich  and  powerful.  They 
believed  that  a  great  city  would  some  day  grow  up 
at  the  northern  gateway  to  the  mountains,  located 
as  Colona  was  on  the  great  Overland  route  from 
Santa  Fe  to  Salt  Lake  and  the  regions  north  and 
west  of  that  city.  But  the  great  mineral  discoveries 
south  and  jyest  of  Denver  turned  emigration  in 
those  directions,  giving  rise  to  cities  like  Denver, 
Pueblo,  Leadville,  Colorado  Springs  and  others  of 
less  note;  though  in  1858,  with  the  unexplored  and 
undeveloped  resources  of  the  county  and  only  a 
guess  at  the  command  of  the  locators,  the  situation 
at  Colona  seemed  full  of  promise  of  a  great  future. 
The  present  day  visitor  at  Laporte,  to  which  name 
Colona  was  changed  in  1862,  can  see  remains  of  a 
town  that  once  declined  to  trade  lot  for  lot  with 
Denver  and  even  aspired  to  be  the  seat  of  the  Ter- 
ritorial government.  But  a  very  few  years  ago 
there  resided  a  man  in  Fort  Collins  who,  having 
acquired  a  few  lots  in  Denver  in  a  horse  trade, 
allowed  them  to  be  sold  for  taxes  rather  than  throw 
away  any  more  money  on  them.  The  town  of 
Colona  was  located  a  short  distance  west  of  the 
present  town  of  Laporte,  but  the  ford  of  the  Cache 
la  Poudre  being  lower  down  the  stream  and  prac- 
tically at  the  point  where  the  bridge  crosses  at 
Laporte,  the  site  of  the  town  was  later  abandoned 
and  a  new  town  site  called  Laporte  was  located  at 
the  ford.  In  1859  Mr.  Provost  erected  a  log  house 
on  the  south  side  of  the  river  in  which  he  kept  a 
grocery  and  a  saloon.  This  house  is  still  standing 
and  is  occupied  by  Rowland  Herring  and  family. 
That  year  Mr.  Provost  also  built  and  operated  a 
ferry  across  the  river  during  flood  times  for  the  ac- 
commodation of  emigrants,  but  the  early  June  flood 
of  that  year  carried  his  boat  down  stream,  so  that 


[45] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


when  Horace  Greeley  and  party  passed  that  way  on 
June  21st,  he  had  to  ford  the  stream  at  considerable 
risk.  Mr.  Provost  also  operated  a  ferry  at  that 
point  during  the  big  flood  of  June,  1864,  and,  as  the 
travel  westward  was  heavy  that  season,  he  coined 
money,  charging  $10.00  for  taking  a  double  team 
across  and  $5.00  for  a  man  on  horseback.  The 
same  year  that  the  Provost  colony  located  at  Colona, 
Mariana  Modeno,  a  Mexican,  located  a  squatter's 
claim  in  the  valley  of  the  Big  Thompson,  about 
three  miles  west  of  the  present  city  of  Loveland.  He 
claimed  to  be  and  probably  was  the  first  permanent 
settler  in  that  valley.  Thus,  practically  simultane- 
ously, began  the  history  of  the  settlements  on  the 
two  principal  streams  of  the  county.  Colona,  how- 
ever, was  the  most  important  and  most  ambitious  of 
the  two,  the  Big  Thompson  pioneer  wishing  merely 
to  establish  a  home  where  he  could  raise  cattle  and 
horses  and  live  out  his  days  in  peace.  Mariana's 
place  aifterward  became  known  as  Namaqua,  and 
was  made  an  Overland  stage  .station  in  1862. 
Mariana  died  in  1878.  The  family  of  George  Hat- 
field, composed  of  himself,  wife  and  one  child,  was 
the  first  family  to  make  a  permanent  location  on  the 
Big  Thompson.  Other  settlers,  including  Wm.  A. 
Bean,  John  J.  Ryan,  John  Hahn,  J.  N.  Hollowell, 
Judge  W.  B.  Osborn,  Thos.  H.  Johnson  and  W.  C. 
Stover,  came  in  1860. 

In  1859  Rock  Bush  came  from  Green  river, 
Wyoming,  where  he  had  been  employed  for  two 
years  on  a  ferry,  and  took  up  a  claim  on  the  north 
bank  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river,  about  three  miles 
southeast  of  Laporte,  where  he  still  lives.  At  this 
time  there  was  but  one  other  settler  on  the  stream 
between  his  place  and  the  mouth  of  the  river,  and 
that  was  Robert  Boyd,  who  also  had  a  claim  a  little 
way  west  of  the  present  city  of  Greeley.  Mr.  Bush 
was  born  in  Canada  in  1832,  came  west  to  Fort 
Bridger  in  1857,  where  he  remained  two  years  and 
then  moved  to  the  Cache  la  Poudre  valley.  He 
married  Johanna  Forbes  after  he  came  here,  by 
whom  he  has  had  five  children,  Rock  Jr.,  Guy, 
George,  Amelia  and  Gussie  Bush.  Mr.  Bush  is  still 
living  in  the  enjoyment  of  fairly  good  health  and  a 
serene  old  age.  He  is  the  only  man  left  of  that 
valiant  and  hardy  company  that  located  in  this 
valley  in  1858-9.  In  1860,  quite  a  number  of  set- 
tlers located  in  the  valley,  including  J.  M.  Sher- 
wood, F.  W.  Sherwood,  A.  F.  Howes,  Joseph 
Knight,  Alphonse  LaRoque,  Joseph  Mason,  James 
B.  Arthur,  John  Arthur,  Thos.  Cline,  E.  B.  Davis, 
Daniel  Davis,  John  Davis,  G.  R.  Strauss,  Joseph 

[46] 


Prendergast,  Dwight  Scoutton,  Thomas  Earnest, 
Ranger  Jones,  and  Fletcher  Earnest. 

Many  of  these  first  settlers  came  across  the  Plains 
in  the  Pike's  Peak  rush  of  1858-1859  and  1860,  and 
being  disappointed  in  their  quest  for  gold,  sought 
homes  in  the  fertile  valleys  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre 
and  Big  Thompson  rivers,  and  the  population  of  the 
county  in  the  fall  of  1860  was  about  one  hundred. 
Early  recognizing  the  necessity  for  some  form  of 
government  and  rules  and  regulations  governing 
the  location  of  claims  and  the  restraining  of  lawless- 
ness by  which  life  and  rights  of  property  might  be 
protected,  the  settlers  in  the  fall  of  that  year  organ- 
ized a  Claim  Club  association.  Robert  Hereford 
was  chosen  president;  John  J.  Ryan,  secretary,  and 
J.  M.  Sherwood,  judge,  and  a  short  but  very  strin- 
gent code  of  laws  was  adopted.  As  the  Cache  la 
Poudre  and  the  Big  Thompson  valleys  formed  the 
district  over  which  the  association  claimed  jurisdic- 
tion, the  code  of  laws  and  the  association  constituted 
the  first  form  of  government  set  up  for  Larimer 
county,  and  those  who  lived  under  it  in  the  early 
days  declare  that  more  equal  and  exact  justice  was 
never  meted  out  than  while  the  association  existed. 
Negroes  were  excluded  from  membership,  owing  to 
race  prejudice.  Each  member  of  the  association  was 
allowed  to  locate  upon  and  occupy  160  acres  of  land 
and  was  protected  in  all  rights  acquired  by  such  oc- 
cupancy. The  uncertainty  as  to  which  government 
the  region  owed  allegience,  whether  that  of  Kansas 
or  Nebraska,  made  an  organization  of  that  character 
vitally  necessary,  for,  while  in  the  main  the  orig- 
inal settlers  were  peaceable,  law-abiding  citizens, 
with  a  just  conception  of  the  rights  of  property  and 
what  constituted  law  and  order,  there  were  a  few 
among  them  whose  conduct  at  times  laid  them  open 
to  suspicion  of  being  outlaws  and  desperadoes,  who 
needed  to  be  placed  under  wholesome  restraint.  An 
association  of  the  character  named,  bound  together 
for  mutual  protection,  whose  members  were  so  will- 
ing to  live  up  to  its  salutary  rules  and  regulations, 
soon  gained  respect  and  confidence,  and  few  there 
were,  ■  indeed,  who  had  the  hardihood  to  lay  them- 
selves liable  to  fall  under  contempt  of  the  association, 
for  its  judgments  were  severe  and  its  penalities  were 
executed  with  promptness  and  dispatch.  All  dis- 
putes were  referred  to  the  association  judge.  Dis- 
satisfied parties  could  appeal  to  the  president,  whose 
decision   was   final. 

When  the  Territory  of  Colorado  was  organized 
in  1861,  Governor  Gilpin  appointed  F.  W.  Sher- 
wood, John  J.  Ryan  and  A.  F.  Howes  as  a  board  of 
commissioners    for   Larimer   county.     At   the  first 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


meeting  of  this  board  an  informal  discussion  de- 
veloped that  Mr.  Howes  favored  the  location  of  the 
County  Seat  at  Laporte  and  the  immediate  erection 
of  a  stone  court  house.  Mr.  Sherwood  took  positive 
grounds  against  the  proposition,  while  Mr.  Ryan 
remained  neutral.  The  result  was  that  the  board 
could  not  agree  and  failed  to  complete  an  organiza- 
tion, despite  frequent  and  earnest  appeals  from  the 
Governor.  Early  in  1862  Governor  Gilpin  ap- 
pointed a  new  board  composed  of  Joseph  Mason, 
W.  B.  Osborn  and  James  B.  Arthur.  This  board 
promptly  organized  by  electing  Mr.  Osborn  chair- 
man. The  proceedings  of  that  meeting  show  that 
among  the  first  acts  preformed  was  the  laying  out 
and  establishing  of  three  commissioner  districts  for 
the  county,  the  boundaries  of  which  remaining  to 
this  day,  practically  as  they  were  then  fixed.  The 
records  do  not  show  that  this  board  ever  held 
another  meeting  or  did  anything  else  of  a  public 
nature,  and  their  offices  appear  to  have  been 
declared  vacant,  for,  in  1864,  Governor  John 
Evans,  who  succeeded  Governor  Gilpin,  appointed 
Abner  Loomis,  John  Heath,  and  William  A. 
Bean,  commissioners  for  Larimer  county.  They 
immediately  qualified  and  at  the  first  meeting 
elected  Mr.  Loomis  chairman.  This  meeting  was 
held  at  Laporte,  beginning  October  8th,  and  the 
principal  business  before  the  board  at  that  time  ap- 
pears to  have  been  the  inspection  and  approval  of 
the  bonds  of  the  new  county  officers.  These  were 
H.  B.  Chubbuck,  county  superintendent  of  schools; 
Henry  Arrison,  sheriff;  H.  W.  Chamberlin,  clerk 
and  recorder;  B.  T.  Whedbee,  treasurer;  James  M. 
Smith,  assessor;  John  E.  Washburn,  county  judge. 
In  July,  1862,  there  occurred  an  Indian  scare  on 
the  Poudre  that  set  the  settlers  wild  with  fright  and 
a  rush  of  men,  women  and  children  for  a  place  of 
safety  followed.  A  few  days  before  a  band  of  Utes 
slipped  down  out  of  the  hills  and  ran  off  some 
horses  belonging  to  J.  M.  and  F.  W.  Sherwood. 
The  settlers  were  afraid  to  pursue  the  redskins  into 
the  hills  for  they  did  not  know  how  many  Utes  were 
in  the  band,  but  they  kept  a  sharp  lookout  for  fear 
the  Indians  would  return  and  raid  other  ranches. 
On  the  day  the  second  board  of  commissioners 
appointed  by  Governor  Gilpin  organized,  a  man 
named  Bassett  saw  the  Indian  wives  of  several  La- 
porte settlers  picking  berries  and,  mistaking  them 
for  Utes,  gave  the  alarm.  With  a  speed  that  seems 
incredible,  the  news  spread  up  and  down  the  river 
and  nearly  everybody  rushed  for  Laporte.  James 
B.  Arthur  and  John  Thatcher  happened  to  be  at 
Laporte  when  the  alarm  was  given,  and  they  started 


in  hot  haste  for  the  Arthur  ranch  down  the  river, 
where  there  was  a  strong  log  house  having  loop 
holes  for  use  in  defending  Chief  Friday's  band  of- 
Arapahoes,  then  located  on  the  north  side  of  the 
river  opposite  the  Sherwood  ranch,  and  when  Friday 
heard  of  the  supposed  raid,  he  ordered  his  fighting 
men  to  mount  their  horses  and  go  to  Spring  canon 
in  pursuit  of  their  enemies,  the  Utes.  Several  set- 
tlers mistook  Friday's  men  for  Utes,  although  J.  M. 
Sherwood  was  with  the  pursuing  party,  and  dropped 
everything  in  their  hurry  to  get  under  cover.    When 


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PIONEER   TRANSPORTATION    TRAIN 

Paul  Tharp  reached  Laporte,  he  was  in  light  travel- 
ing trim,  having  left  coat,  hat,  gun  along  the  trail, 
and  he  found  the  settlers  prepared  for  defending 
themselves.  Settlers  in  the  lower  Poudre  gathered 
at  Arthur's.  The  following  morning  the  truth  be- 
came known  all  along  the  river,  and  the  scare  was 
over.  ;  ,       •■: 

The  last  Indian  scare  on  the  Big  Thompson  oc- 
curred in  1864,  when  six  Utes  stampeded  Mariana's 
horse  herd  and  run  several  of  the  animals  into  the 
mountains.  So  badly  frightened  were  the  settlers 
that  they  left  everything  and  fled  for  safety.  On 
the  raid  the  Indians  killed  a  Mexican  in  Mariana's 
employe,  horribly  mutilating  his  body.  Word  was 
sent  to  Laporte  and  a  detachment  of  soldiers  from 
the  11th  Ohio  cavalry  pursued  the  Utes  and  re- 
covered the  horses.  One  of  the  two  Indians  that 
were  guarding  the  horses  was  killed,  but  the  other, 
badly  wounded,  escaped  only  to  die  in  a  lonely  cabin, 
where  his  body  was  found  later. 

In  1862,  A.  F.  Howes,  as  county  clerk,  recorded  a 
number  of  squatters  filings  on  lands,  powers  of  at- 
torney and  real  estate  and  chattel  mortgages.  W.  B. 
Osborn  had  been  appointed  probate  judge  by  Gov- 
ernor Gilpin  but  the  records  do  not  show  that  he 


[47] 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER        COUNTY 


COLORADO 


transacted  any  business,  although  he  held  court  at 
Laporte  on  the  days  set  apart  by  law.  Henry  Arrison 
was  the  first  sheriff  of  the  county.  The  records 
kept  by  A.  F.  Howes,  as  clerk  and  recorder,  were 
some  of  them  in  his  own  handwriting,  but  the  most 
of  them  seemed  to  have  been  recorded  by  Hal  Sayre 
and  J.  C.  Peabody.  The  record  opens  January  31, 
1862,  with  a  land  filing  in  which  Hal  Sayre  sets 
forth  that  he  claims  a  certain  tract  of  land  described 
as  follows:  "Beginning  at  the  southeast  corner  of 
E.  O.  Fritt's  house,  running  thence  north  76  degrees 
6  minutes  east  to  the  top  of  a  small  knoll,  whence 
the  following  houses  will  be  at  the  following  bear- 
ings: E.  W.  Raymond  south  62  degrees  39  minutes 
west;  R.  G.  Strauss  south  11  degrees  15  minutes 
west,  from  this  point  north  46  degrees  30  minutes 
east  19  chains  to  a  post  which  marks  the  southwest 
corner  of  this  claim ;  thence  north  20  degrees  60 
chains;  thence  south  70  degrees  east  26.65  chains; 
thence  south  20  degrees  west  60  chains;  thence 
north  70  degrees  west  26.65  chains  to  place  of  be- 
ginning." 

This  description,  though  it  may  seem  a  little  in- 
definite in  this  day  and  age,  was  probably  as  good  as 
could  have  been  given  at  the  time,  for  the  country 
had  not  then  been  surveyed  into  sections  and  town- 
ships. 

On  the  17th  of  March,  1862,  the  Laporte  Town- 
site  company  filed  a  squatter's  claim  to  1280  acres  of 
land,  which  was  laid  off  into  lots  and  blocks,  in  the 
expectation,  no  doubt,  that  here  would  be  the  future 
metropolis  of  the  Rocky  Mountain  region.  A.  F. 
Howes  was  president  of  the  company  and  Hal  Sayre, 
secretary.  On  some  date  between  March  24th  and 
August  6,  1862,  the  day  not  being  named,  the  con- 
stitution was  spread  on  the  records  bearing  the  sig- 
natures of  Benj.  Sylvester,  John  F.  VanDeventer,  C. 
Randall,  Thos.  Pryce,  N.  Janis,  F.  R.  and  Antoine 
Janis,  John  L.  Buell,  by  A.  F.  Howes,  E.  W.  Ray- 
mond, Henry  A.  Swift,  by  A.  F.  Howes,  his  attor- 
ney, and  A.  F.  Howes.  The  next  mention  of  the 
company  on  the  record  the  name  of  Abner  Loomis 
appears  as  president  and  J.  C.  Peabody  secretary. 
The  capital  stock  of  the  company  was  fixed  at  $120,- 
000.  In  September  of  that  year  the  Townsite  com- 
pany sold  to  Benjamin  Holladay  block  238  and 
leased  to  him  block  237  for  corrals  and  stables  for 
the  Overland  Stage  company,  reserving  one  lot  25 
feet  wide  on  Pawnee  street,  on  which  was  located 
the  stage  station.  The  lease  on  block  237  was  to  run 
as  long  as  the  Stage  Company  should  continue  to 
carry  the  United  States  mail  on  the  route  from  St. 
Joseph,  Missouri,  to  Salt  Lake  City,  Utah.    A  post- 

[48] 


office,  the  first  established  in  the  county,  was 
opened  at  Laporte  in  June,  1862.  In  the  old  record 
book  from  which  these  entrees  are  copied  are  99 
filings,  the  98th  and  99th  being  placed  on  record 
October  24th,  1863.  These  papers  were  convey- 
ances from  Jesse  M.  Sherwood  and  F.  W.  Sher- 
wood to  Ben  Holladay,  in  which  the  grantors 
deeded  to  the  grantee  all  their  rights  and  interests 
in  and  to  their  farms  at  and  near  the  mouth  of  the 
Boxelder  creek,  along  the  Cache  la  Poudre. 

The  first  Territorial  Legislature  met  in  Denver 
September  9th,  1861.  Larimer  and  Weld  counties 
were  included  in  one,  the  First  Council  and  Rep- 
resentative district.  H.  J.  Graham  was  elected  to 
represent  the  district  in  the  council  and  Daniel 
Steele  as  representative.  Steele  was  a  man  of  some 
education,  but  his  opponent  could  neither  read  nor 
write  and  based  his  claim  to  the  office  on  the  fact 
that  he  had  good  common  sense  and  wore  a  hand- 
somely trimmed  and  decorated  suit  of  buckskin. 
The  election  was  held  at  Laporte  and  A.  F.  Howes 
and  F.  W.  Sherwood  were  the  judges.  An  old 
camp  coffee  pot  served  the  purpose  of  a  ballot  box. 
Along  in  the  afternoon  a  dispute  arose  among  the 
adherents  of  the  two  candidates  as  to  which  had 
polled  the  greater  number  of  votes  up  to  that  time. 
Money  flashed  and  bets  were  made  and  to  settle  the 
controversy  the  table  was  cleared  of  books  and  loose 
papers,  the  votes  turned  out  of  the  coffee  pot  and 
counted,  when  it  was  found  that  Steele  was  ahead. 
This  was  a  frontier  way  of  doing,  but  in  those  days 
the  art  of  ballot  box  stuffing  had  not  been  intro- 
duced and  an  honest  ballot  and  a  fair  count  was  the 
rule.  In  1862  Joseph  Kenyon  was  elected  repre- 
sentative. For  the  third  Territorial  Legislature, 
which  assembled  in  1 864,  Boulder,  Larimer,  ■  and 
Weld  counties  sent  Amos  Widner  to  the  oouncH 
and  Larimer  and  Weld  selected  A.  Or  PatterSoii-'as 
representative,  but  he  did  not  appear  during  the 
session.  For  the  fourth  Legislature,  which  met  in 
1865,  the  council  and  representative  districts  re- 
elected Widner  and  Patterson.  In  1866  J.  M. 
Marshall  went  to  the  council  and  B.  F.  Johnson 
to  the  lower  house,  from  Larimer  and  Weld,  Mr. 
Johnson  being  replaced  in  1867  by  Peter  Winne. 
In  the  seventh  Legislature  James  H.  Pinkerton  was 
councilman  and  Harris  Stratton  representative;  in 
the  eighth,  1870,  Jesse  M.  Sherwood  was  council- 
man and  M.  S.  Taylor,  representative.  W.  C. 
Stover  represented  Larimer  county  in  the  council 
of  the  9th  Legislature  in  1872,  and  B.  F.  Eaton  in 
the  lower  house;  in  the  10th  Legislature,  R.  G. 
Buckingham  and  D.  H.  Nichols  were  the  county's 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


representatives  in  the  council  and  lower  house  re- 
spectively, and  in  the  11th  Legislature  which  con- 
vened in  Denver  Jan.  1876,  B.  H.  Eaton  and  N.  H. 
Meldrum  had  seats  in  the  council  and  house  re- 
spectively from  Larimer  county.  The  11th  Legisla- 
ture was  the  last  of  the  Territorial  Legislatures. 
John  E.  Washburn  and  Capt.  C.  C.  Hawley  were 
members  from  Larimer  county  in  the  Constitutional 
convention  which  met  in  Denver  on  the  second 
Monday  in  July  1864,  to  frame  a  state  Constitu- 
tion. At  the  election  held  on  the  second  Tuesday 
in  October  of  that  year,  the  Constitution  framed  by 
this  convention  was  rejected  by  the  people  on  the 
score  of  economy.  The  following  year  another  con- 
vention was  held  which  submitted  a  draft  of  a  Con- 
stitution to  the  people  and  it  was  adopted.  William 
Gilpin  was  elected  Governor.  The  Legislature  met 
and  elected  John  Evans  and  Jerome  B.  Chaffee 
United  States  senators.  Congress  consented  to  ad- 
mit the  state  of  Colorado  into  the  union,  but  Presi- 
dent Johnson  vetoed  the  bill.  The  matter  was  re- 
vived periodically  for  ten  years.  On  the  3rd  of 
March,  1875,  Congress  passed  an  enabling  act, 
authorizing  the  electors  to  vote,  in  July,  1876,  upon 
a  Constitution  to  be  formed  in  a  convention  to  be 
held  at  Denver  before  that  time.  This  convention 
met  in  Odd  Fellows  hall  in  Denver  on  Monday, 


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HORSETOOTH  MOUNTAIN,   NEAR  FORT  COLLINS 

the  20th  day  of  December,  1875,  and  organized  by 
electing  J.  C.  Wilson  of  El  Paso  county,  president, 
and  W.  W.  Coulson,  secretary.  Larimer  county 
was  represented  in  this  convention  by  William  C. 
Stover,  father  of  F.  W.  Stover,  the  present  county 
Judge,  and  A.  K.  Yount  of  Fort  Collins,  repre- 
sented Larimer  and  Weld  counties.  The  conven- 
tion completed  its  labors  on  Wednesday,  March 
15th,  1876,  and  adjourned,  having  fixed  July  1st, 


1876,  as  the  day  on  which  an  election  should  be  held 
to  approve  or  disapprove  of  the  Constitution  sub- 
mitted. The  election  was  held  on  the  day  named 
and  the  Constitution  was  adopted  by  a  vote  of 
15,443  for,  to  4,039  against  its  acceptance.  On  the 
the  first  of  August,  1876,  President  U.  S.  Grant 
issued  a  proclamation  admitting  the  state  of  Colo- 
rado into  the  Union. 

Denver  had  long  been  working  to  have  the  regu- 
lar Overland  state  route  laid  up  the  South  Platte, 
and  when  Ben  Holladay  became  proprietor  of  the 
line,  he  agreed  upon  a  route  running  through  Den- 
ver and  from  that  point  west,  and  to  discontinue  the 
North  Platte  route.  The  fact  that  the  Indians  had 
become  troublesome  on  the  North  Platte  route  in 
1862,  had  also  some  weight  with  him  in  deciding 
to  make  the  change.  The  change  was  made  in  the 
month  of  June,  1862,  and  remarkable  to  relate,  the 
transfer  to  the  new  line  was  so  successfully  accom- 
plished that  not  a  mail  was  missed  or  a  coach  de- 
layed. From  Denver  the  route  followed  the  old 
Cherokee  trail  just  outside  the  hogbacks  to  Laporte, 
thence  through  Virginia  Dale  to  the  Laramie  plains 
and  on  to  Salt  Lake.  Troops  were  stationed  along 
the  line  to  guard  against  attacks  by  the  savages. 
Stage  stations  were  established  at  Mariana's  on  the 
Big  Thompson,  Laporte  and  Virginia  Dale.  James 
Boutwell  was  the  first  keeper  of  the  station  on  the 
Big  Thompson,  and  the  notorious  Slade  opened  the 
station  at  Virginia  Dale,  and  A.  R.  ChafiEee,  father 
of  County  Commissioner  Frank  Chaffee,  had  charge 
of  the  Laporte  station  in  1863.  When  it  became 
advisable  for  the  desperado  Slade  to  leave  the 
country  for  the  country's  good,  he  was  succeeded  by 
W.  S.  Taylor,  who  later  took  charge  of  the  Laporte 
station.  The  stage  line  across  the  country  north 
from  Denver  was  frequently  changed.  First  it  fol- 
lowed the  hogbacks  from  the  Big  Thompson  to 
Laporte,  where  it  left  the  plains  and  entered  the 
mountains.  Then  the  route  was  changed  so  as  to 
pass  through  Fort  Collins.  At  one  time  the  cross- 
ing of  the  Big  Thompson  was  at  the  Washburn 
ranch  near  where  Loveland  is  now,  and  J.  E.  Wash- 
burn was  the  agent.  From  there  it  crossed  the 
divide  to  the  Sherwood  ranch  on  the  Cache  la 
Poudre  and  thence  across  the  country  to  Park  sta- 
tion, where  it  entered  the  mountains.  For  a  short 
time  the  stage  crossed  the  South  Platte  at  Latham 
and  then  followed  the  Poudre  river  to  the  moun- 
tains. 

The  real  history  of  the  white  settlement  of  Lari-    ^ 
mer  county  begins  when  Antoine  Janis  located   a 
squatter's  claim  on  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river  a  short 

[49] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


distance  west  of  Laporte.  Whether  he  continued  to 
live  on  the  claim  from  that  time  until  the  arrival  of 
the  Colona  colony  in  1858,  we  have  no  means  of 
knowing  as  the  records  are  silent  on  that  point.  But 
that  he  called  it  his  home  and  remained  in  possession 
of  it  until  1878,  when  he  sold  it  to  Tobe  Miller, 
there  is  no  doubt.  At  that  time  and  for  many  years 
before,  the  Cheyenne  and  Arapahoe  Indians  claimed 
and  occupied  all  of  Larimer  and  adjoining  counties 
and  it  was  through  sufEerance  that  the  whites  were 
allowed  to  gain  a  foothold  on   the  plains   immed- 


STEAMBOAT   ROCK,    LIVERMORE 

iately  east  of  the  mountains.  Antoine  Janis  tells  us 
that  these  Indians  ceded  to  him  all  the  land  in  the 
Cache  la  Poudre  valley  lying  between  the  moun- 
tains and  the  mouth  of  Boxelder  creek, — a  princely 
estate  even  in  those  wild  days.  In  1861,  a  treaty 
was  made  with  these  Indians  at  Bent's  fort,  by 
which  all  of  their  lands  east  of  the  mountains  was 
ceded  to  the  United  States.  From  that  time  on 
white  settlers  were  entitled  to  all  the  protection  the 
government  could  afford  them.  They  had  a  right 
to  file  upon,  occupy  and  improve  claims  to  public 
land  regardless  of  Indian  protests.  These  protests 
were  frequent  and  often  mandatory,  as  the  Indians 
had  no  sooner  signed  away  their  lands  than  they  re- 
gretted it.  They  had  been  persuaded  to  make  the 
treaty,  which  dispossessed  them  of  their  ancient 
heritage  by  the  usual  means,  presents,  promises  of 
annuities  and  mystification.  The  more  the  act  was 
contemplated,  the  more  determined  they  became  to 
expel  the  settlers  and  regain  what  they  had  so  fool- 
ishly surrendered.  This  led  to  frequent  outbreaks, 
raids  upon  the  settlers  and  the  shedding  of  much 
blood  in  subsequent  years. 

"It  seems  eminently  proper,"  says  Gen.  Frank 
Hall  in  his  history  of  Colorado,  "to  submit  a  brief 
statement  relating  to  such  of  the  Indian  tribes — ^the 
aboriginal  owners  of  the  territory  lying  between  the 
Missouri  river  and  the  Rocky  Mountains,  as  may 

[50] 


have  a  bearing  upon  the  prehistoric  annals  of  the 
country.  To  attempt  anything  like  a  history  of  all 
the  tribes  would  lead  us  too  far  from  the  general 
purpose  of  this  work,  besides,  occupying  space  that 
may  be  more  profitably  devoted  to  other  matters. 
But  the  subject  is  at  least  one  well  worthy  of  pass- 
ing consideration.  The  enlightened  emigrant  of 
1858 — and  his  followers  in  subsequent  years,  given 
to  close  observation,  naturally  expended  some  earnest 
thought  upon  the  natives  he  encountered,  and  natu- 
rally enough,  wondered  how  and  whence  they  came, 
or,  if  they  had  always  roamed  up  and  down  the 
country  spending  their  time  in  war  and  the  chase. 
He  met  the  remnants  of  once  numerous  and  power- 
ful nations  now  decimated  and  degraded  to  mere 
fragments,  stripped  of  power  and  reduced  to  beg- 
gary. What  were  they  in  the  zenith  of  their 
strength?  Their  destiny  was  already  manifest;  re- 
quiring no  prophetic  vision  to  foretell  the  closing 
scene.  Overborne  by  the  surging  tide  of  an  irresist- 
ible movement,  there  could  be  but  one  result — their 
extinction.  If  men  sow  not,  neither  shall  they  reap. 
The  redmen  stubbornly  refused  to  accept  the  con- 
ditions held  up  to  them  by  modern  law,  so  they 
were  plowed  under  and  forgotten.  The  whirlwind 
of  civilized  force  swept  over  and  blotted  them  out. 
Though  renowned  in  war  with  their  own  species, 
they  became  helpless  as  babes  before  the  resistless 
torrent.  Humanitarians  call  it  harsh,  barbarous 
and  cruel,  but  it  was  predestined.  The  march  of 
progress  from  Plymouth  Rock  to  the  western  rivers 
had  been  marked  by  trails  of  fire  and  blood.  The 
Christian  fathers  carried  their  guns  and  torches,  as 
we  ours,  and  aimed  to  kill.  There  was  no  middle 
course.  The  crusade  begun  from  the  anchorage  of 
the  Mayflower,  was  not  ordained  to  stop  until  it  had 
mastered  the  continent.  We  could  not  halt  at  the 
Mississippi  or  Missouri  and  declare  that  all  east  of 
that  line  should  belong  to  the  white  man  and  all 
west  of  it  to  the  red;  that  half  of  the  continent 
should  be  devoted  to  the  pursuits  of  civilization,  and 
the  balance  permitted  to  continue  unimproved  and 
under  the  rule  of  savages  who  would  neither  toil  nor 
spin.  And  so  the  sanguinary  procession  advanced, 
the  white  man  took  possession  and  the  barbarians 
disappeared. 

"The  Cheyenne,  Arapahoes  and  Kiowas  of  whom 
the  early  emigrants  had  most  intimate  knowledge 
through  frequent  encounters  were  strong,  warlike 
and  cruel.  There  was  a  report  that  the  Arapahoes 
were  descended  from  the  Blackfeet;  that  a  hunting 
party  accompanied  by  their  families  came  down  from 
the  North  to  the  Platte  about  eighty-five  years  ago, 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY,    COLORADO 


and  being  cut  ofE  by  a  severe  snow  storm,  wintered 
here.  The  season  in  this  latitude  being  mild  and 
pleasant,  the  country  abounding  in  game,  and  gen- 
erally a  better  region  to  live  in  than  the  one  they  had 
left,  they  decided  to  remain.  How  much  truth 
there  may  be  in  the  story,  if  any,  we  are  unable  to 
say.  We  found  them  here  and  know  that  they 
roamed  the  plains  in  large  numbers  from  the  coun- 
try of  the  Pawnees  to  the  base  of  the  mountains  and 
down  into  the  valley  of  the  Arkansas  river.  The 
Cheyennes  were  pushed  westward  from  Dakota  by' 
the  more  powerful  Sioux,  and  located  first  in  the 
Black  Hills,  where  they  divided  and  scattered,  the 
larger  portion  uniting  with  the  Arapahoes,  a  union 
which  continued  unbroken  to  the  last.  Intensely 
warlike,  of  robust  physique,  scarcely  less  skilful 
than  the  Sioux,  these  two  tribes  were  in  almost  con- 
stant conflict  with  their  enemies  of  other  nations,  but 
more  especially  with  the  Utes,  whom  they  hated 
with  unquenchable  malevolence  and  by  whom  the 
feeling  was  fully  reciprocated. 

"The  Utes,  members  of  the  Snake  family,  have 
held  the  parks  and  the  valleys  of  the  mountains  to  be 
their  exclusive  property  from  time  immemorial,  and 
contended  for  these  rights  successfully  against  all 
comers.  Though  attacked  periodically  and  in  force 
by  other  nations,  they  were  never  dislodged,  and 
never  yielded  an  inch  of  their  domain  until  com- 
pelled to  part  with  it  under  recent  treaties." 

The  settlers  in  the  valley  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre 
previous  to  1861,  were  few  and  far  between  if  we 
exclude  those  who  located  at  what  is  now  Laporte  in 
1858.  They  could  almost  be  counted  on  the  fingers 
of  the  two  hands,  the  most  prominent  of  them  being 
'James  B.  Arthur,  Joseph  Mason,  John  Arthur, 
Jeseph  Prendergast,  E.  B.  Davis,  Dwight  Scoutten, 
Ranger  Jones,  Thos.  Earnest,  J.  M.  and  F.  W. 
Sherwood,  G.  R.  Strauss  and  a  few  others,  all  of 
whom  located  on  the  river  bottoms  southeast  of  the 
present  city  of  Fort  Collins  in  1860.  Joseph  Mason 
purchased  a  claim  located  on  the  south  side  of  the 
river  about  a  mile  above  Fort  Collins,  and  Rock 
Bush  filed  on  a  claim  on  the  north  side  of  the  river 
in  1859,  which  he  still  owns  and  occupies.  After 
the  title  to  the  Indian  lands  passed  to  the  United 
States,  settlers  came  in  faster  and  at  the  close  of 
1861,  nearly  all  of  the  bottom  lands  along  the  river 
from  Laporte  down  to  where  Greeley  now  stands 
had  been  taken  up.  Among  the  settlers  who  filed 
on  claims  that  year  were  the  following:  Hal  Sayr, 
E.  W.  Raymond,  E.  Reed,  John  C.  Peabody,  C.  J. 
Randall,  A.  J.  Ames,  Joseph  Newton,  Sus  Lewis, 
E.  D.  Fritts,  Nathaniel  Perkins,  A.  Sprague,  C.  S. 


Fassett,  William  Halford,  A.  F.  Howes,  B.  Syl- 
vester, G.  R.  Strauss,  A.  L.  Snodderly,  Mahlon 
Smith,  M.  S.  Warder,  H.  B.  Blevins,  Paul  Donan, 
Francis  Belange.  John  G.  Coy  filed  on  his  claim 
in  August,  1862.  In  1862,  John  B.  Larster,  Frank 
Long,  W.  W.  Wyner,  Samuel  Heffner,  William 
McGaa,  Joseph  'Voore,  N.  Levine,  John  P.  Martin, 
Andrew  Lamarch,  John  A.  Lattie,  Hiram  Harmon, 
filed  on  claims  in  the  Big  Thompson  valley: 
Thomas  McBride,  G.  R.  Sanderson,  Isaac  W.  Mor- 
ris, J.  Bradstreet,  W.  N.  FalHs,  A.  C.  Kenyon,  A. 
C.  Griffin,  Joseph  Filthian,  Joseph  Merivale,  Will- 
iam J.   Parker,  A.   F.  Woodward,   D.  W.  Buell, 


S^^^s) '■j^vBBn^^^R^^^pnW 

M 

1 

^ 

Hb 

1 

FISHING  SCENE  ON  THE  CACHE  LA  POUDRE 

Joseph  Bocus,  E.  C.  McGinnes,  J.  M.  Aker, 
George  Luce,  T.  B.  Farmer,  J.  G.  Farmer,  R.  E. 
Lawrence,  Frank  Lacy,  Selma  Watson,  and  Will- 
iam Ebersole  on  claims  in  the  Cache  la  Poudre 
valley.  But  few  of  these  became  permanent  set- 
tlers. They  located  claims  for  the  purpose  of  selling 
out  to  new  comers  and  when  they  had  disposed  of 
their  holdings,  moved  on  to  other  fields.  The 
transfer  of  the  Overland  stage  route  in  1862  from 
the  North  to  the  South  Platte  and  the  running  of 
daily  coaches  through  here  had  the  effect  of  direct- 
ing attention  to  the  advantages  ofEered  homeseekers 
in  the  Cache  la  Poudre  and  Big  Thompson  valleys, 
with  the  result  that  there  were  many  new-comers 
during  the  years  1862,  1863  and  1864,  so  that  be- 
fore the  end  of  the  year  last  named  the  Cache  la 
Poudre  valley  boasted  of  quite  a  large  community. 
By  this  time  so  beneficial  had  been  found  the 
climatic  influences  of  Colorado  and  her  fame  as  a 
sanatarium  having  become  wide-spread,  that  the  in- 
flux of  health-seekers  grew  larger  year  by  year.  The 
dryness  and  lightness  of  the  air  and  its  invigorating 

[51] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


character  together  with  the  almost  constant  preva- 
lence of  sunshine,  imparted  new  vigor  and  energy  to 
the  well,  and  gave  a  new  lease  of  life  to  those  whose 
constitutions  were  impared.  Here  on  this  great 
plateau,  a  mile  above  the  sea,  far  removed  from  the 
fogs,  chilling  winds  and  damp  atmosphere  of  either 
ocean,  all  the  conditions  of  life  to  the  new-comer 
were  fresh  and  inspiring.  But  all  those  who  came 
in  the  early  days  were  by  no  means  invalids.  For 
the  most  part  they  were  men  in  the  prime  of  life, 
with  strong,  vigorous  constitutions,  level-headed, 
brave  of  heart,  energetic  and  enterprising,  possess- 
ing great  capacity  for  work  and  filled  with  a  desire 
to  help  plant  the  banner  of  civilization  in  the  wilder- 
ness. That  they  builded  better  than  they  knew  is 
now  evident  by  a  teeming  and  prosperous  popula- 
tion, with  villages,  towns,  and  cities  dotting  the 
plains,  with  their  churches,  schools  and  higher  in- 
stitutions of  learning;  by  the  rush  of  the  iron  horse 
and  by  social  conditions  that  are  not  excelled  in  any 
of  the  older  states. 

In  the  rush  for  gold  in  |he  earlier  years  of  Colo- 
rado but  little  attention  was  paid  to  agriculture. 
That  was  thought  to  be  too  slow  a  method  for  ac- 
cumulating wealth.  Most  of  the  piofleers  expected 
to  garner  a  fortune  in  the  mines  and  return  to  their 
homes  in  the  east  and  enjoy  their  gains,  surrounded 
by  more  civilizing  influences  than  were  to  be  found 
in  the  Rocky  Mountains.  Many  accomplished  their 
ends  and  did  return  eastward,  but  by  far  the  greater 
number  either  lacked  the  means  to  recross  the  plains 
or  attracted  by  the  climate  and  the  great  dormant 
possibilities  of  the  country,  remained  and  engaged  in 
farming  or  stock  raising.  They  were  incited  to  do 
this  from  the  high  price  of  provisions,  and  in  view 
of  the  fact,  since  everything  consumed  came  from  the 
eastern  states  and  was  often  months  on  the  way, 
that  a  scarcity  might  sometimes  bring  with  it  high 
prices  to  the  farmers.  It  was  not  long  until  the 
lands  bordering  the  streams  on  the  plains  and  the 
valleys  of  the  mountains  were  found  to  be  extremely 
fertile  and  capable  of  producing  enormous  crops. 
At  first  farming  was,  in  the  main,  limited  to  the 
raising  of  vegetables  and  the  cutting  and  curing  of 
the  native  grasses,  for  hay,  for  which  there  was  a 
great  demand  in  the  mining  camps,  at  highly  re- 
munerative prices.  Native  grasses  grew  luxuriously 
over  the  bottom  lands  of  the  streams  and  this  was 
cut  and  cured  by  the  settlers,  hauled  to  Denver, 
Central  City  and  Blackhawk  and  sold  to  the  miners 
and  livery  men.  Hay  at  times  commanded  as  much 
as  $150  per  ton,  and  vegetables  of  all  kinds  were 
much  sought  after.     The  story  is  told   that  small 

[52] 


cabbages  sold  in  Denver  in  1861  for  $5  per  head, 
but  it  is  not  vouched  for.  While  the  area  of  cul- 
tivated land  was  small  during  the  first  decade  and 
confined  altogether  to  the  margins  of  the  streams, 
farming  had  become  an  important  industry  in  the 
Big  Thompson  and  Cache  la  Poudre  valleys  in  1867 
-8,  the  cultivation  of  wheat  having  been  successfully 
introduced,  due  to  irrigation,  and  then  came  the  de- 
mand for  mills  to  convert  the  wheat  into  flour.  This 
demand  was  promptly  met  in  the  Cache  la  Poudre 
by  Mrs.  Elizabeth  Stone  and  H.  C.  Petterson  who 
built  the  Linden  Mills  in  1868.  A  mill  was  built 
the  same  year  in  the  Big  Thompson  valley  by  An- 
drew Douty.  From  this  time  a  more  rapid  move- 
ment took  place  in  the  way  of  peopling  the  county, 
so  that  when  the  first  federal  census  was  taken  in 
1870,  the  population  had  grown  to  838.  Ditches 
to  carry  water  from  the  streams  to  irrigate  what 
was  called  the  bench  or  bluff  lands  were  built,  and 
it  was  found  that  larger  yields  "of  wheat  of  a  better 
quality  could  be  produced  on  these  lands  than  on  the 
river  bottoms.  Fifty,  sixty  and  even  seventy  bushels 
of  the  finest  wheat  in  the  world  were  often  har- 
vested from  the  bench  lands,  so  that  in  a  few  years 
the  farmers  of  Colorado  began  to  produce  more 
wheat  than  was  needed  for  Colorado  consumption, 
causing  a  decline  in  the  price.  In  the  late  seventies 
and  early  eighties  the  price  of  wheat  fell  to  50  and 
60  cents  a  bushel,  which  left  the  farmer  little  or  no 
profit.  Meanwhile  the  county  kept  settling  up  so 
that  in  1880  it  had  a  population  of  4,892.  In  1890 
this  had  increased  to  9,712,  in  1900  to  12,168,  and 
in  1910  to  25,270. 

But  it  was  not  all  fair  sailing  with  the  pioneers. 
They  had  many  obstacles  and  difficulties  to  over- ' 
come  in  addition  to  years  of  toil,  hardship  and  priva- 
tion. Irrigating  canals  had  to  be  built,  homes  to  be 
erected  consisting  more  often  of  log  cabins  than 
otherwise,  with  the  timbers  they  and  the  fences  and 
corrals  were  made  of  far  up  in  the  mountains  a  day's 
journey  away;  with  farm  implements  and  seed  to  be 
obtained  from  the  Missouri  river,  six  hundred  miles 
away.  They  were  also  surrounded  by  unfamiliar 
conditions,  often  terrorized  by  blood  thirsty  savages, 
frequently  limited  in  food  supplies  and  went  hungry. 
But  the  pioneers,  those  who  remained  and  continued 
the  struggle  were  active,  earnest,  true-hearted  men 
and  women  who  set  themselves  to  work  with  a  spirit 
that  deserved  and  achieved  success.  Among  the  dis- 
couragements and  disappointments  that  would  have 
disheartened  and  demoralized  men  made  of  less 
sterner  stuiif,  was  the  grasshopper  visitation  that 
came  upon  them  just  before  harvest  time  in  1873, 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


These  destructive  insects  came  down  upon  the  fields 
of  the  growing  grain  in  vast  clouds  and  consumed 
every  green  thing  in  their  paths.  Fields  that  gave 
promise  of  rich  yields  of  golden  grain,  nearly  ready 
for  the  sickle,  were  swept  away  as  if  by  fire,  leaving 
nothing  but  desolation  for  the  farmers  to  gaze  upon 
after  all  his  toil  and  labor.  Hope  nearly  gave  away 
to  despair.  The  visitation  was  not  confined  to  one 
section,  but  spread  itself  over  the  grain  fields  in  all 
portions  of  the  Territory,  so  that  the  bread  supply 
of  the  settlers  was  practically  all  wiped  out.    What 


PIONEER  RESTAURANT 

made  the  situation  still  worse  was  that  there  was 
but  little  money  in  the  country,  for  a  financial  panic 
had  struck  the  entire  nation  and  banks  everywhere 
went  toppling  to  the  wall.  Those  able  to  withstand 
the  wave  of  business  depression  were  afraid  to  loan 
money,  so  that  the  out-look  was  truly  disheartening. 
But,  with  Spartan  courage  and  indomitable  wills, 
men  and  women  alike  kept  up  the  fight  for  suprem- 
acy against  what  seemed  at  times  like  insurmount- 
able obstacles  and  difficulties,  and  finally  won  the 
victory.  Development  of  the  country  was  retarded 
by  the  grasshopper  plague  which  tormented  the  set- 
tlers for  two  successive  years,  though  people  con- 
tinued to  come  from  the  east  in  search  of  homes  in 
the  Golden  west,  though  not  in  such  large  numbers 
however,  until  after  conditions  began  to  improve. 
How  the  pioneers  subsisted  during  those  trying 
years,  only  those  who  passed  through  the  disappoint- 
ments, privations  and  hardships  they  endured,  can 
form  an  adequate  conception. 

Stock  growing  early  became  an  important  industry 
in  Larimer  county  and  in  the  late  60's  and  early  70's, 
thousands  of  head  of  cattle,  great  bands  of  horses 
and  flocks  of  sheep  grazed  upon  the  rich  pasture 


lands  of  the  plains  and  the  valleys  of  the  mountains. 
The  mildness  of  the  climate,  the  vast  grazing  ground 
on  the  plains,  the  ranges  in  the  mountain  parks  and 
valleys  all  tended  to  make  stock  growing  profitable 
as  well  as  pleasant.  Large  fortunes  were  acquired 
in  this  industry  and  many  of  the  new  comers  engaged 
in  it.  At  one  time  Larimer  county  ranked  second 
in  the  state  in  the  number  of  head  of  live  stock 
owned  and  run  upon  its  ranges.  Nearly  50,000 
head  of  cattle  and  75,000  she^p  were  assessed  for 
taxation  in  1878,  but  as  settlers  came  in  and  took 
up  farms  the  range  became  restricted  so  that  many 
of  the  cattlemen  moved  their  herds  to  Wyomitig 
where  there  was  a  wider  scope  of  unoccupied  coun- 
try for  stock  to  range  over  and  feed  upon.  Though 
there  are  still  many  thousands  of  domestic  animals 
in  the  county,  the  herds  are  not  as  large  as  they 
were  in  the  early  days.  The  character  and  quality 
of  these  animals  have  greatly  improved  in  recent 
years  by  the  introduction  of  registered  Hereford, 
Shorthorns,  Jerseys,  and  other  high  bred  cattle,  so 
that  prize  takers  at  the  stock  shows  of  the  country 
are  now  being  produced. 

We  will  npw  resume  th"S  story  of  the  early  set- 
tlements from  which  digression  has  taken  us  off  to 
allied  subjects. 

In  the  spring  of  1860,  the  Seventh  United  States 
infantry  came  down  over  the  Cherokee  trail  and 
passed  through  Colona  (now  Laporte)  on  the  way 
to  Bent's  fort.  This  regiment  had  been  sent  to  Utah 
in  1858,  to  assist  in  quelling  an  anticipated  Mormon 
uprising  and  to  compel  an  obedience  to  the  law  of 
the  government.  Its  mission  ended,  the  regiment 
was  called  back  to  the  Arkansas  valley.  Part  of  the 
command  encamped  over  night  at  Spring  canon. 
Joseph  Frendergast,  chief  of  the  wagon  train,  had 
received  his  discharge  on  expiration  of  term  of  ser- 
vice and  when  the  regiment  reached  the  Cache  la 
Poudre  valley  he  became  and  remained  a  valued  citi- 
zen of  the  county.  G.  R.  Strauss  was  another  mem- 
ber of  General  Sidney  Johnston's  expedition  to  Salt 
Lake,  who  tarried  here  on  his  way  east  and  set  about 
building  himself  a  home  in  the  Cache  la  Poudre  val- 
ley. He  located  first  on  the  A.  J.  Ames  place,  now 
known  as  the  Slockett  farm,  later  moving  to  the 
Strauss  farm  near  Timnath,  where  he  lived  until 
his  death  in  1904.  Joseph  Lariviere  took  up  a  piece 
of  land  adjoining  Rock  Bush's  claim  on  the  west, 
and  Phillip  Lariviere  filed  on  what  is  now  known  as 
the  Inverness  farm.  In  1860  Abner  Loomis,  Joseph 
Whitsall  and  William  Faith  purchased  adjoining 
claims  in  Pleasant  valley  for  stock  ranches.  Mr. 
Loomis  was  then  engaged   in   freighting  from  the 

[53] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


Missouri  river,  making  two  trips  a  year.  One  sea- 
son he  made  three  trips,  making  a  total  of  eleven 
round  trips  across  the  plains  in  the  years  1862, 
63,  64,  65.  A.  R.  Chaffee  rode  into  the  Big  Thomp- 
son valley  in  1862  astride  a  mule.  Tired  and  hun- 
gry he  rode  up  to  a  cabin  about  which  he  saw  a 
white  man,  and  asked  for  something  to  eat  for  him- 
self and  his  mule.  Being  told  that  he  could  have  it 
Mr.  Chaffee  put  up  his  mule  and  entered  the  cabin. 
Over  a  fire  in  one  corner  he  saw  a  kettle,  before 
which  sat  an  Indian  woman.  Ravenously  hungry, 
Mr.  Chaffee  noticed  with  disappointment,  the  slim 
peparations  being  made  for  a  meal,  but  it  was  too  far 
to  the  next  cabin,  so  he  waited  developments.  A 
little  later  the  man  of  the  house  came  in,  the  kettle 
was  placed  on  the  floor  in  the  center  of  the  room  and 
the  guest  was  told  to  help  himself.  Apologizing  for 
the  slim  fare.  Jack  Jones,  the  proprietor,  stated  that 
there  was  not  a  pound  of  flour  in  the  settlement  and 
hadn't  been  for  some  time;  further,  that  he  had  no 
idea  when  there  would  be  any.  Jack  Jones'  real 
name  was  William  McGaa,  and  his  oldest  son  was 
the  first  child  born  in  Denver  and  bore  the  name  of 
his  birthplace — -Denver  McGaa.  The  boy  grew  to 
manhood  in  the  Cache  la  Poudre  valley,  but  went 
to  Pine  Ridge  agency  in  the  early  80's  to  join  the 
tribe  of  Indians  of  which  his  mother  was  a  member. 
He  has  revisited  the  scene  of  his  boyhood  on  several 
occasions  but  not  to  stay  long,  prefering  the  nomadic 
life  of  the  aboriginees  to  the  career  of  the  average 
hardworking  white  man. 

Soldiers  Establish  Camp  at  LaPorte 

In  1863,  Co.  B  of  the  First  Colorado  volunteer 
cavalry,  was  stationed  for  a  few  weeks  at  Laporte, 
employed  in  guarding  the  mountain  division  of  the 
Overland  stage  line  and  the  emigrant  trail  against 
depredations  by  the  Indians,  raids  of  white  despera- 
does and  stock  thieves,  with  which  the  country  was 
infested  at  that  time.  The  desperadoes  and  stock 
thieves,  mainly  Mexicans  with,  perhaps,  a  dare-devil 
white  man  as  leader,  were  more  dreaded  by  the  early 
settlers  than  the  Indians,  for  the  Plains  Indians  very 
seldom  interfered  with  the  property  of  white  men 
in  the  country,  but  they  were  often  charged  with 
running  off  stock  when  they  were  not  guilty.  The 
white  or  Mexican  marauders  stole  the  stock  and 
laid  the  theft  to  the  redmen  to  avoid  suspicion  of 
themselves.  In  this  way  the  Indians,  though  inno- 
cent, were  often  blamed  for  things  they  did  not  do, 
which  enabled  the  real  offenders  to  get  away  with 
their  booty.    The  troops  patroled  the  stage  line  from 

[54] 


Laporte  to  Laramie  Plains  and  often  a  detail  of 
soldiers  was  sent  out  with  the  coaches  and  also  with 
trains  of  emigrants  to  protect  them  from  raiders. 
The  United  States  mails  were  carried  by  the  Over- 
land stage  and  they  had  to  be  protected  by  the  gov- 
ernment from  interference  by  the  Indians  and  white 
desperadoes.     Thousands  of  emigrants  were  moving 


FALLS  OF  THE  CACHE  LA  POUDRE 


westward  in  those  days  and  they  also  claimed  and  re- 
ceived, so  far  as  it  was  possible,  the  same  protection. 
The  result  was  the  soldiers  were  kept  pretty  busy 
most  of  the  time.  After  a  stage  coach  or  a  train  of 
emigrants  had  been  guarded  by  soldiers  from  La- 
porte to  Willow  Springs  on  the  Laramie  Plains,  it 
was  turned  over  to  another  detail  of  troops  which 
accompanied  the  travelers  to  the  next  division  point; 
the  first  detail  returning  to  their  post  at  Laporte. 
In  this  way  the  line  was  kept  open  and  practically 
undisturbed,  for  the  Indians  and  desperadoes  had  a 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY,    COLORADO 


healthy  fear  of  the  soldiers  and  generally  gave  them 
a  wide  berth.  Occasionally  a  band  of  Indians  or 
white  marauders  would  swoop  down  upon  a  guarded 
stage  coach  or  a  protected  emigrant  train  and  either 
overpower  or  kill  the  guards  and  run  off  the  stock, 
but  these  raids  did  not  occur  very  often.  The  road 
from  Denver  to  Willow  Springs  was  kept  open  all 
of  the  time  and  travelers  were  seldom  molested. 
From  Willow  Springs  westward  across  the  Laramie 
Plains  the  stage  and  emigrant  trains  had  more  or 
less  trouble  from  raids  by  the  Indians,  and  many  of 
the  people  lost  their  lives  through  the  rapacity  of  the 
savages.  Road  agents  or  stage  robbers'  gave  the 
Overland  company  more  trouble  than  the  Indians. 
They  usually  did  their  work  in  the  night  while  the 
Indians  very  seldom  operated  after  dark.  In  Septem- 
ber, 1862,  an  east  bound  Overland  coach  was  held 
up  near  the  North  Platte  crossing  and  robbed  by 
two  men.  The  driver  was  killed  and  the  robbers 
carried  off  a  small  iron  safe,  which  contained  $70,- 
000  in  gold  dust  that  was  being  sent  east  from  Cal- 
ifornia by  express.  There  is  a  tradition  to  the 
effect  that  this  treasury  box  was  brought  down 
the  line  to  Virginia  Dale  and  hidden  in  the  hills 
near  the  station.  Later  that  fall  two  prospect- 
ors, a  German  and  an  Irishman,  on  their  way  to 
Denver,  made  their  appearance  at  John  B.  Provost's 
in  Laporte,  with  a  large  quantity  of  gold  dust 
which  they  claimed  to  have  taken  from  a  mine 
in  the  mountains  which  they  had  discovered.  In 
the  spring  of  1863  they  again  passed  Provost's  on 
their  way  to  the  mountains,  returning  in  the  fall 
with  between  $6,000  and  $7,000  in  gold  dust 
which  they  said  came  from  their  mine,  the  loca- 
tion of  which  they  refused  to  make  known.  The 
following  winter,  so  the  story  goes,  the  Irishman 
was  killed  in  a  quarrel  at  Central  City  and  the 
German  made  his  trips  to  his  gold  mine  alrfne  after 
that,  always  returning  in  the  fall  with  a  goodly 
quantity  of  gold  dust.  Efforts  were  made  to  get 
him  to  tell  where  his  mine  was,  but  he  always  put 
off  his  questioners  in  one  way  and  another  and  never 
would  give  the  desired  information.  At  last  a  party 
of  men  set  out  to  find  what  was  then  called  the 
"Dutchman's"  mine,  but  after  prospecting  for  sev- 
eral days  without  results  gave  up  the  search.  In  the 
spring  of  1864,  when  the  old  German  passed 
through  Laporte  on  his  way  to  the  mountains,  two 
men  followed  him  thinking  he  would  lead  them  di- 
rectly to  the  place  where  he  claimed  to  have  found 
so  much  gold,  but  he  discovered  their  purpose  and 
threw  them  off  the  track  by  going  up  the  Cache  la 
Poudre  and  crossing  over  into  what  is  now  Grand 


county  through  Lulu  pass.  He  was  never  after- 
wards seen  in  these  parts.  The  story  goes  that  he 
was  lynched  in  Central  City  for  killing  a  man.  At 
any  rate  the  "Dutchman's"  mine  was  never  found, 
and  the  supposition  is  that  the  German  and  his  part- 
ner were  the  ones  who  held  up  and  robbed  the  stage 
coach  of  its  treasure  box  and  afterward  obtained 
their  supply  of  gold  dust  from  the  place  where  they 
had  hidden  it  in  the  mountains  near  Virginia  Dale. 
The  keeping  of  a  record  of  the  proceedings  of  the 
board  of  county  commissioners  began  October  8th, 
1864,  when  Abner  Loomis,  John  Heath  and  Will- 
iam A.  Bean,  commissioners  for  the  county,  ap- 
pointed by  Governor  John  Evans,  met  at  Laporte 
and  organized  by  electing  Abner  Loomis  chairman. 
According  to  the  record,  all  the  board  did  after  or- 
ganizing was  to  approve  the  official  bonds  of  the 
several  county  officers  appointed  by  the  governor  at 
the  same  time  the  commissioners  were  appointed. 
There  was,  in  fact  but  little  else  to  be  done  at  that 
time.  There  were  no  public  roads,  no  bridges,  ex- 
cept private  or  toll  bridges,  and  no  school  districts 
in  the  county.  No  term  of  the  district  court 
had  then  been  held  consequently  there  were  no 
jurors  nor  witnesses  to  be  paid,  and  the  newly  ap- 
pointed county  officers  had  as  yet  performed  no  serv- 
ice for  which  they  were  entitled  to  pay.  As  a  matter 
of  fact,  the  commissioners  had  no  public  money  to 
expend  for  any  purpose,  as  the  first  assessment  of 
property  in  the  county  for  taxation  was  made  that 
year.  The  records  fail  to  show  who  was  assessed, 
what  species  of  property  was  listed  and  the  total 
amount  of  the  roll,  but  the  footings  of  the  roll  could 
not  have  amounted  to  many  thousands  of  dollars,  as 
only  personal  property  such  as  cattle,  horses,  wagons 
and  improvements  on  public  land  were  subject  to 
taxation.  The  land  could  not  be  taxed  as  the  title 
still  remained  in  the  government  and  as  the  country 
was  new  and  most  of  the  settlers  were  poor,  there 
was  not  much  property  to  assess.  The  public  land 
had  just  been  surveyed  by  the  government  and  of 
course  no  land  patents  had  been  issued  to  any  of  the 
settlers.  Previous  to  the  time  when  the  public  sur- 
veys were  completed  the  settlers  only  possessed  a 
squatter's  right  to  their  lands,  but  after  the  surveys 
were  made  and  section  and  township  lines  were  es- 
tablished, they  began  to  make  preemption  and  home- 
stead filings  in  which  these  lands  were  definitely  de- 
scribed. These  lands  could  not  be  taxed,  however, 
until  after  the  government  had  issued  patents  on 
them,  and  it  does  not  appear  from  the  county  records 
that  any  of  the  public  lands  in  Larimer  county  were 
patented  until  several  years  afterward,  consequently 

[55]      . 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


only  the  improvements  made  on  them  by  settlers 
were  taxed. 

The  first  land  patent  recorded  in  Larimer  county 
was  issued  May  1st,  1867,  to  Antoine  Janis,  as- 
signee of  Marcus  Minorca,  a  New  Mexican  volun- 
teer in  the  Navajo  trouble  to  whom  had  been  issued 
land  warrant  No.  103,153,  for  160  acres  of  land. 
Janis  located  the  warrant  on  the  E.  ^  of  the  S.  E.  ^ 
of  section  30,  and  W.  ^  of  the  S.  W.  ^  of  section 
29,  township  No.  8,  north  of  range  No.  69,  west  of 
the  6th  principal  meridian,  the  same  land  he  had 
claimed  under  a  squatter's  right  in  1844 — twenty- 
three  years  before.  The  patent  was  signed  by  An- 
drew Johnson,  President  of  the  United  States,  and 
recorded  on  August  30th,  1867,  in  book  "B"  of  the 
Larimer  county  records,  by  John  C.  Matthews  as 
deputy  for  Edward  C.  Smith,  county  clerk. 

Before  the  county  was  thoroughly  organized  for 
judicial  purposes  in  1864,  A.  F.  Howes,  who  had 
been  appointed  county  clerk  by  Governor  Gilpin 
soon  after  Larimer  county  had  been  created  by  the 
Territorial  legislature,  opened  "Book  'A'  of  deeds 
of  Larimer  county,  Colorado  Territory."  In  this 
book  were  recorded  squatter's  claims  to  land,  bills 
of  sale,  chattel  mortgages;  and  later  on  land  office 
receiver's  duplicate  receipts;  quit-claim  deeds,  con- 
tracts, etc.  The  first  instrument  in  writing  re- 
corded in  this  book  purports  to  be  Hal  Sayr's  squat- 
ter's claim  to  160  acres  of  land,  which  was  filed  for 
record  January  31st,  1862,  by  A.  F.  Howes,  county 
clerk  and  recorder.  Four  days  afterwards,  on  Feb- 
ruary 4th,  1862,  E.  W.  Raymond's  squatter's  claim 
was  filed  for  record  from  which  it  appears  that  the 
county  clerk  was  not  rushed  with  work  in  those 
days.  Every  one  of  the  instruments  recorded  in 
1862  were  acknowledged  before  J.  C.  Peabody,  who 
seems  to  have  been  the  only  justice  of  the  peace  in 
the  county.  Hal  Sayr  acted  as  deputy  clerk  in  1862, 
and  J.  C.  Peabody  served  as  deputy  in  1863,  under 
A.  F.  Howes.  The  last  instrument  recorded  in 
book  "A"  is  a  quit-claim  deed  from  J.  M.  Sher- 
wood to  Ben  Holladay,  sub-contractor  of  the  Over- 
land stage  company.  It  conveys  to  the  grantee  the 
rights  of  the  grantor  to  certain  lands  situated  near 
the  mouth  of  Boxelder  creek,  the  consideration 
named  being  $500.  This  deed  was  recorded  Octo- 
ber 24th,  1863,  by  L.  Wright,  deputy,  in  the  ab- 
sence of  J.  C.  Peabody,  the  regularly  appointed 
deputy  clerk.  Book  "B"  of  the  record  of  deeds  was 
opened  April  10th,  1865,  by  H.  W.  Chamberlin, 
county  clerk  and  recorder.  Between  October  24th, 
1863,  the  date  of  the  recording  of  the  last  instru- 
ment in  book  "A",  and  April  10th,  1865,  the  date 


of  the  opening  of  book  "B",  the  records  fail  to  show 
that  any  instruments  were  recorded  by  the  county 
clerk.  There  is  a  hiatus  there  of  one  year,  five 
months  and  sixteen  days,  when  business  in  the 
county  clerk's  office  appears  to  have  been  at  a  stand- 
still. The  first  instrument  recorded  in  book  "B", 
April  10th,  1865,  was  a  United  States  receiver's 
duplicate  receipt  No.  197,  issued  to  A.  F.  Howes, 
February  7th,  1865,  upon  the  payment  of  $200, 
being  in  full  for  the  N.  i  of  the  N.  E.  i,  and  N.  E. 
i  of  the  N.  W.  i  of  section  18,  and  S.  E.  i  of  the 


FIRST  CHIMNEY  BUILT  IN  LARIMER  COUNTY: 
HOME    OF   EBENEZER  DAVIS 

S.  W.  i  of  section  7,  all  in  township  No.  7  north  of 
range  No.  68  W.  embracing  l60  acres  at  the  rate  of 
$1.25  per  acre.  The  duplicate  was  issued  at  the 
Denver  land  office  by  C.  B.  Clement,  receiver. 
From  the  records  this  appears  to  have  been  the  first 
entry-  of  public  land  in  Larimer  county  and  the  first 
duplicate  receipt  issued  to  a  Larimer  county  pre- 
emptor.  Mr.  Howes,  who  was  afterwards  county 
judge  of  Larimer  county  and  later  represented  the 
county  in  the  state  senate  for  four  years,  filed  a 
squatter's  claim  on  the  land  described  in  1862  and 
preempted  the  same  soon  after  the  Government  sur- 
vey had  been  made  in  1864.  He  proved  up  on  his 
preemption  in  February,  1865,  and  completed  the 
the  entry  under  the  United  States  land  laws.  This 
formed  a  part  of  Judge  Howes'  800-acre  ranch 
which  he  owned  and  controlled  for  35  years,  when 
it  passed  into  other  hands  and  is  now  owned  by 
the  Water  Supply  and  Storage  Company. 

No  one  living  here  at  the  present  time  seems  to  be 
able  to  account  for  the  hiatus  of  nearly  eighteen 
months  in  the  public  records  of  the  county.  It  was 
not  because  the  settlers  had  forsaken  their  homes 


[56] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER-      COUNTY,        COLORADO 


and  claims  and  gone  elsewhere,  nor  because  they 
neither  bought  nor  sold  land  claims  or  other  prop- 
erty during  the  interim,  for  the  same  names  appear 
in  record  book  "B"  as  grantors  and  grantees  that 
appeared  in  record  book  "A",  with  here  and  there 
a  new  name,  showing  that  instead  of  having  moved 
away  accessions  had  been  made  to  the  number  of 
settlers  here  in  1863.  It  is  possible  that  Judge 
Howes,  who  opened  record  book  "A"  January  31st, 
1862,  before  the  county  had  been  organized  for  judi- 
cial purposes,  found  that  his  acts  as  county  clerk  and 
recorder  had  no  legal  standing  and  were  therefore 
invalid,  hence  closed  up  his  office  and  discontinued 
the  keeping  of  the  records.  Whatever  the  cause, 
the  fact  remains  that  there  is  not  the  scratch  of  a  pen 
in  the  public  records  from  October  24th,  1863,  to 
April  10th,  1865,  to  show  that  a  single  transfer  of 
property  had  been  made  by  anybody  within  the 
boundaries  of  Larimer  county.  This  lapse  in  the 
records  does  not,  however,  efEect  titles  to  land,  for 
in  those  days  no  one  had  any  better  title  than  a 
squatter's  right  to  preempt  or  homestead  when  it 
came  into  market.  The  government  surveys  were 
made  in  the  latter  part  of  1863  and  in  1864,  and  it 
was  not  until  then  that  settlers  could  get  even  a 
shadow  of  a  tittle  to  the  land  they  had  squatted 
upon.  After  that,  preemption  and  homestead  filings 
were  made  and  these  subsequently  proved  up  on 
when  the  title  passed  from  the  government  to  the 
settler.  The  number  of  Judge  Howes'  duplicate 
receipt,  197,  shows  that  up  to  that  time,  February 
7th,  1865,  but  few  settlers  in  Colorado  had  acquired 
title  to  their  land.  That  was  because  the  govern- 
ment surveys  had  not  heen  made  and  therefore  no 
title  to  land  could  be  given  until  the  country  had 
been  surveyed,  platted  and  opened  for  .  permanent 
settlement.  When  this  was  done,  thousands  of  pre- 
emption and  homestead  filings  were  made  and  the 
records  of  Larimer  county  from  that  time  on  are 
filled  with  recorded  evidences  of  title  to  real  estate. 
The  first  settlers  of  the  county  located  on  the  bottom 
lands  adjacent  to  the  streams  and  not  until  these 
were  all  taken  up  and  occupied,  was  any  attempt 
made  to  secure  claim  or  title  to  what  are  known  as 
bench  or  bluff  lands.  Native  grasses  grew  luxur- 
iantly on  the  bottom  lands  and,  when  cured,  made 
excellent  hay,  and  as  hay,  in  the  early  days,  brought 
a  good  price  at  Denver  and  in  the  mining  camps,  the 
first  settlers  devoted  almost  their  entire  efforts  and 
energies  to  the  production  of  hay.  A  few  of  them 
planted  gardens  in  the  low  lands  and  raised  potatoes 
and  other  vegetables  for  market  with  marked  suc- 
cess.    But  little  grain  of  any  kind  was  grown  in 


the  county  until  about  1864,  when  a  few  of  the 
ranchmen  ventured  to  sow  wheat  and  oats  and  to 
plant  corn.  The  result  of  these  few  experiments 
were  so  much  better  than  expected  that  a  much  lar- 
ger area  was  planted  to  small  grains  in  1865,  so  that 
the  birth  of  diversified  agriculture  in  Larimer 
county  can  be  dated  from  about  that  period  of  time. 

After  the  settlers  began  to  get  titles  to  their  lands 
the  county  took  on  a  better  and  more  favorable  ap- 
pearance. Improvements  were  made,  more  comfort- 
able and  more  convenient  houses  were  built  to  take 
the  place  of  sod-covered  and  dirt-floored  log  cabins, 
the  farms  were  fenced,  trees  planted  and  the  general 
air  of  the  Great  American  desert  began  to  take  on  a 
more  civilized  and  homelike  aspect.  About  this  time 
it  was  demonstrated  that  the  uplands  produced  the 
best  wheat,  oats  and  other  small  grains  and  largest 
yields  per  acre  and  new  comers  began  to  locate  on 
and  improve  them.  Companies  were  incorporated 
to  build  irrigating  ditches  through  which  to  carry 
water  from  the  streams  to  irrigate  the  lands,  which 
previous  to  this  time,  were  thought  to  be  worthless 
except  for  pasture.  The  surplus  grain  produced  in 
1865-6  and  7  was  hauled  in  wagons  to  Denver  and 
marketed  at  good  prices,  and  all  the  ranchmen  were 
making  money  and  doing  well.  New  farms  were 
opened  up  and  the  grain  crops  became  so  important 
that  in  1867  a  grist  mill  was  built  in  the  Big 
Thompson  valley  and  a  year  later  another  one  was 
erected  at  Fort  Collins.  These  mills  were  equipped 
with  old  fashioned  millstones  and  bolts,  but  they 
served  a  good  purpose  for  several  years  and  afforded 
the  farmers  of  the  two  valleys  a  home  market  for 
their  surplus  grain  products,  thus  saving  the  long 
and  tiresome  haul  to  Denver. 

Late  in  1863,  Co.  B  of  the  First  Colorado  volun- 
teer cavalry  was  transferred  from  Laporte  to  another 
field  of  activity  and  a  detachment  of  the  Eleventh 
Kansas  volunteer  cavalry  was  sent  west  to  guard 
the  Overland  stage  line,  taking  the  place  of  the 
Colorado  troops.  The  following  spring  Lieut.  Col. 
W.  O.  Collins,  commanding  the  Eleventh  Ohio 
regiment  of  volunteer  cavalry,  stationed  at  Fort 
Laramie,  Wyoming,  sent  companies  F  and  B  of  his 
regiment  to  Laporte  to  take  the  place  of  the  Kansas 
troops  which  had  been  ordered  into  active  service  in 
the  field.  The  Ohio  troops  arrived  here  in  May  and 
established  a  post  a  short  distance  southwest  of  the 
point  of  rgcks  west  of  Laporte,  which  they  named 
Camp  Collins  in  honor  of  Col.  Collins,  commander 
of  the  regiment.  These  two  companies  of  mounted 
troops,  commanded  by  Capt.  W.  H.  Evans,  remained 
at  Camp  Collins  doing  patrol  and  guard  duty  until 

[57] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


October,  1864,  when  the  camp  was  moved  to  the  site 
of  the  present  city  of  Fort  Collins,  the  reason  of  the 
change  being  that  the  old  camp  at  Laporte  was 
flooded  during  the  high  water  of  June  that  year 
and  much  of  the  camp  equipment,  including  tents, 
ammunition,  blankets  and  clothing  was  washed  away 
and  lost  at  a  cost  of  several  thousand  dollars.  The 
new  Camp  Collins  formed  the  nucleus  around  which 
the  present  city  of  Fort  Collins  and  county  seat  of 
Larimer  county,  has  since  been  built  up,  and  as  the 
history  of  the  camp  and  the  founding  of  that  city 
are  intimately  connected,  further  and  more  ex- 
tended reference  to  the  soldiers  and  their  duty  and 
experiences  here,  will  be  made  under  the  separate 
head  of  "Fort  Collins''  in  this  volume. 

Early  Records  of  County  Com- 
missioners 

Though  set  off  and  created  by  an  act  of  the  Ter- 
ritorial legislature,  approved  in  September,  1861,  as 
already  stated,  Larimer  county  remained  unorgan- 
ized until  1864,  for  reasons  elsewhere  given,  con- 
sequently little  or  nothing  was  done  in  the  way  of 
making  public  improvements.  The  county  remained 
in  an  inchoate  state.  The  elements  were  present,  the 
people  were  here,  though  few  in  number,  compara- 
tively speaking,  the  boundaries  had  been  defined  and 
the  legislature  had  conferred  upon  the  inhabitants 
the  power  to  organize  and  the  governor  had  ap- 
pointed a  full  set  of  county  officers  so  that,  appar- 
ently, nothing  stood  in  the  way  of  the  establishment 
of  a  county  government.  But  the  people  were  not 
yet  ready  to  assume  the  responsibility.  They  were 
satisfied  with  conditions  as  they  existed.  The  board 
of  .county  commissioners  appointed  by  Governor 
Gilpin  in  January,  1862,  failed  to  organize  and 
there  is  nothing  on  record  to  show  that  the  other 
county  officers  appointed  at  the  same  time  qualified 
by  filing  bonds  and  oaths  of  office.  Later  in  the 
season  Governor  Gilpin  appointed  a  new  set  of 
county    officers,    including    Joseph    Mason,    James 

B.  Arthur  and  William  B.  Osborn  as  a  board 
of  commissioners.  This  board  organized  by 
electing  Mr.  Osborn  chairman,  and  proceeded 
to  lay  out  the  commissioner  districts  of  the 
county     practically     as     they     still     exist.     Capt. 

C.  C.  Hawley  informed  the  author  that  after 
the  failure  of  the  first  board  of  commissioners.  Gov. 
Gilpin  appealed  to  him  to  furnish  the  names  of  three 
qualified  men  for  commissioners  who  would  organ- 
ize and  act  as  such.  Capt.  Hawley  recommended 
Messrs  Mason,  Arthur  and  Osborn  and  they  were 

[58] 


appointed.  A.  F.  Howes  was  at  the  same  time  ap- 
pointed clerk  and  recorder  and  he  entered  upon  his 
official  duties  January  31,  1862.  It  does  not  ap- 
pear that  the  board  of  commissioners  transacted  any 
public  business  during  their  term  beyond  that  of  lay- 
ing out  the  commissioner  districts. 

In  September,   1864,  Governor  Evans  appointed 
the  following  county  officers:     County  Commision- 


SAWTOOTH  MOUNTAIN,  FROM  MICHIGAN 
DITCH  CAMP 

ers,  Abner  Loomis,  John  Heath  and  William  A. 
Bean;  County  Judge,  John  E.  Washburn,  Sheriff, 
Henry  Arrison;  Treasurer,  B.  T.  Whedbee;  Asses- 
sor, J.  M.  Smith;  County  Clerk,  H.  W.  Chamber- 
lin;  Superintendent  of  Schools,  H.  B.  Chubbuck.  At 
this  time  there  was  but  one  public  highway  in  the 
county  and  that  was  the  Territorial  road  leading 
north  from  Denver  to  Fort  Laramie.  This  road 
followed  the  Old  Cherokee  trail  which  closely 
hugged  the  hogbacks.     Bridges  had  been  built  over 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


the  Big  Thompson  at  Namaqua  and  over  the  Cache 
la  Poudre  at  Laporte,  but  they  were  toll  bridges 
owned  by  private  parties  or  incorporated  companies. 
These  bridges  were  used  mainly  during  flood  periods 
when  the  water  was  too  high  for  safe  fording. 

Record  book  No.  1  of  the  board  of  county  com- 
missioners opens  with  a  brief  report  of  the  first  meet- 
ing of  the  new  board,  which  was  held  October  8th, 
1864  at  Laporte.  The  minutes  of  that  meeting 
state  that  "the  board  convened  at  4  o'clock  p.  m. 
Abner  Loomis  and  John  Heath  being  present  and 
W.  A.  Bean  absent.  Abner  Loomis  was  chosen 
chairman.  The  board  proceeded  to  examine  the 
bonds  of  the  following  county  officers:  H.  W. 
Chamberlin,  clerk  and  recorder;  B.  T.  Whedbee, 
treasurer;  J.  E.  Washburn,  probate  judge;  H.  B. 
Chubbuck,  school  superintendent;  James  M.  Smith, 
assessor." 

After  approving  the  official  bonds  of  these  officers 
the  board  adjourned  without  transacting  any  other 
public  business.  No  other  meeting  appears  to  have 
been  held  until  February  17,  1865,  when  the 
board  levied  a  tax  of  $1,000  "for  the  purpose  of 
raising  recruits  for  the  90-day  service,"  in  response 
to  the  call  of  Governor  Evans,  dated  February  6th, 
1865;  also  a  tax  of  $250  for  the  purpose  of  pur- 
chasing books,  blanks,  and  stationery  for  the  use  of 
the  county.  Abner  Loomis  and  John  Heath  were 
present  at  this  meeting,  Mr.  Loomis  presiding. 

On  the  23rd  of  the  following  April  the  board 
met  again  and  appropriated  $150  to  pay  for  a  log 
house  purchased  of  Henry  Arrison,  situated  in  La- 
porte; said  building  to  be  used  for  county  purposes. 
Among  the  bills  allowed  and  ordered  paid  at  the 
next  meeting  held  July  15,  1865,  were  the  follow- 
ing: 

$250  to  Wm.  B.  Osborn  for  a  horse  pressed  into 
the  military  service  by  order  of  Col.  Moonlight, 
commander  of  the  district;  also  $50  to  Abner 
Loomis  for  one  horse ;  B.  T.  Whedbee  $50  for  one 
horse;  Wm.  Adolph  $50  for  one  horse;  Joseph  Ma- 
son $50  for  one  horse;  Mariana  Modena  $150 
for  three  horses.  These  horses  had  all  been 
pressed  into  the  military  service.  At  this  meet- 
ing there  were  present  William  A.  Bean,  Ab- 
ner Loomis,  and  John  Heath.  On  July  26th, 
the  board  met  again  and  allowed  bills  amount- 
ing to  $250,  each  to  Johnathan  E.  Wilde,  and 
J.  M.  Sherwood  for  horses  pressed  into  the  military 
service  by  order  of  Col.  Moonlight;  $50  each  to 
Mariana  Modena,  James  M.  Smith,  James  M. 
Eaglin,  Frank  Card,  Joseph  Markley,  John  J.  Ryan, 
Daniel    Walker,    Jerry    Kuhns,    Sebastian    Foster, 


Thomas  H.  Johnson,  John  Hahn,  Wm.  B.  Osborn, 
H.  Hillbury,  Luber  Hillbury,  Wesley  Hillbury 
and  H.  Sharp,  and  $25  each  to  Nelson  Hollowell, 
Thomas  Cross,  John  D.  Bartholf,  John  E.  Wash- 
burn, John  Keirnes  and  G.  L.  Luce  to  reimburse 
them  for  bounty  money  paid  to  recruits  for  the  90 
day  service.  At  this  meeting  the  board  fixed  the 
annual  tax  levy  at  7  mills  on  the  dollar  for  county 
purposes;  13  mills  special  tax  to  pay  bounties  to 
recruits ;  also  a  poll  tax  of  $2  and  a  military  poll  of 
50  cents. 

The  next  meeting  of  the  board  occurred  January 
8,  1866,  with  Abner  Lommis,  James  B.  Arthur  and 
Wm.  A.  Bean  as  members,  Mr.  Arthur  having 
been  elected  to  succeed  John  Heath  at  the  election 
held  in  September,  1865,  the  first  general  election 
held  in  the  county.  Bills  for  per  diem  of  judges 
and  clerks  of  the  election  for  canvassing  of  the  re- 
turns were  allowed  and  ordered  paid.  The  names 
of  those  receiving  county  warrants  for  this  service 
follow:  James  M.  Smith,  John  E.  Washburn, 
Thomas  Cross,  S.  W.  Smith,  Harris  Stratton,  H.  C. 
Peterson,  Dominie  Bray,  H.  B.  Chubbuck,  John 
Heath,  J.  B.  Ames,  G.  R.  Strauss,  Wm.  Rasmus, 
Henry  Arrison,  C.  C.  Smith,  J.  A.  C.  Hickman, 
Daniel  Johnson,  Ed.  C.  Smith,  J.  M.  Smith  Jr., 
William  Cosslett,  John  R.  Thacker,  Antoine  Le- 
beau,  R.  J.  Brown,  G.  A.  Goodrich,  Thomas  Gill, 
John  M.  Tout,  Peter  Cazzoe  and  E.  G.  Howard. 

J.  E.  Washburn  and  Wm.  B.  Osborn  and  others 
presented  a  petition  for  the  laying  out  and  estab- 
lishing of  public  highways  in  the  Big  Thompson 
valley.  These  were  the  first  petitions  to  come  be- 
fore the  board  asking  for  public  highways. 

Samuel  E.  Brown  of  Denver,  was  employed  by 
the  board  to  collect  from  the  United  States  the 
money  expended  by  the  county  in  raising  90-day 
men  for  military  service  in  1864,  for  which  he  was 
to  be  paid  33  1-3  per  cent  of  the  amount  collected. 
If  he  failed  in  his  endeavor  he  was  to  receive  no 
compensation. 

At  the  next  meeting  held  February  6th,  1866, 
the  first  road  petition  acted  upon  was  granted  and  a 
highway  described  as  follows  laid  out  and  estab- 
lished :  "Commencing  at  a  point  on  the  southern 
boundary  line  of  the  military  reservation  of  Fort 
Collins,  running  parallel  with  the  township  line  be- 
tween ranges  68  and  69  west  and  three-fourths  of  a 
mile  west  from  said  township  line  and  running  due 
south  to  the  southern  line  of  the  county  of  Larimer, 
in  conformity  with  the  petition  of  John  E.  Wash- 
burn and  29  others."  This  road  was  afterwards 
vacated  and  laid  upon  the  section  line  and  is  now 

[59] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


known  as  the  College  Avenue  road.  It  was  the 
first  public  road  laid  out  and  established  in  Larimer 
county. 

The  records  do  not  show  that  another  meeting  of 
the  board  was  held  until  January  12th,  1867,  a  per- 
iod of  more  than  a  year  having  elapsed  since  the  pre- 
vious meeting,  though  the  blank  pages  from 
page  10  to  page  24,  inclusive,  in  the  record 
book,  indicate  that  meetings  were  held  dur- 
ing the  interim  and,  for  some  reason,  no 
record  made  of  them.  This  session  was  main- 
ly devoted  to  acting  upon  road  petitions,  re- 
bating taxes  and  auditing  bills.  The  members  pres- 
ent were  Abner  Loomis,  J.  B.  Arthur  and  W.  A. 
Bean.  On  January  23rd,  another  meeting  was  held 
with  Commissioners  Loomis  and  Arthur  present. 
At  this  meeting  W.  DeW.  Taft,  late  deputy 
county  clerk,  on  behalf  of  H.  W.  Chamberlin,  late 
county  clerk,  turned  over  to  Edward  C.  Smith,  his 
successor  in  office,  certain  books,  records,  and  papers 
pertaining  to  and  belonging  to  the  office  of  county 
clerk."  The  session  was  occupied  mainly  in  audit- 
ing bills.  The  sum  of  $200  was  appropriated  for 
the  purchase  of  a  bridge  over  the  Big  Thompson  at 
Washburn  crossing. 

On  the  11th  of  February  the  board  granted  per- 
mission to  W.  H.  Oviatt,  agent,  Brice  Viers,  A.  H. 
Reed,  agent,  and  Alexander  Stewart  to  graze  cattle 
in  Larimer  county.  The  record  does  not  give  the 
residences  of  the  grantees,  but  they  were  presumably 
citizens  of  Wyoming.  Harris  Stratton  was  ap- 
pointed a  justice  of  the  peace  in  and  for  Larimer 
county.  On  the  3rd  of  June,  1867,  the  salary  of  J. 
M.  Sherwood,  probate  judge,  was  fixed  at  $150  for 
the  first  year  of  his  term  of  office,  and  Fred  Wallace 
was  appointed  a  justice  of  peace.  Judges  of  elec- 
tion were  also  appointed  at  this  session  as  follows: 

Precinct  No.  1,  John  H.  Mandeville,  Charles 
Howard,  John  R.  Brown. 

Precinct  No.  2,  John  Davis,  John  Stotts,  Eben- 
ezer  Davis. 

Precinct  No.  3,  George  L.  Luce,  John  J.  Ryan, 
Charles  M.   Brough. 

Precinct  No.  4,  N.  P.  Cooper,  Joshua  Ames, 
John  G.  Coy. 

In  1867,  the  Colorado  Central  &  Pacific  Rail- 
road company,  which  had  been  chartered  by  the 
Territorial  legislature  to  build  a  railroad  from 
Georgetown,  via  Boulder,  St.  Vrain  and  thence 
through  Larimer  county  in  a  northeasterly  direction 
to  a  junction  with  the  Union  Pacific  railroad  then 
being  built  westward  from  Omaha,  asked  the  county 
to  subscribe  to  the  capital  stock  of  the  company  in 

[60] 


the  sum  of  $25,000,  and  to  pay  for  the  same  in  the 
corporate  bonds  of  the  county.  The  company  agreed 
to  locate  its  line  of  road  not  more  than  one  mile  east 
of  the  mouth  of  Boxelder  Creek.  In  furtherance  of 
the  proposition  the  board  of  commissioners,  at  a 
meeting  held  August  10th,  at  Laporte,  adopted  a 
resolution  providing  for  submitting  to  a  vote  of  the 
people  the  question  of  issuing  the  bonds  of  the 
county  for  that  purpose.  The  election  was  called 
for  August  13th,  and  it  was  held  on  that  day,  but 
the  records  fail  to  show  whether  or  not  the  bonds 
were  voted.  The  fact  remains,  however,  that  they 
were  never  issued  and  the  road  was  never  built. 
It  was  not  until  ten  years  later  that  a  railroad  was 
built  into  and  through  the  county,  that  road  being 
the  Colorado  Central,  as  it  was  then  and  for  several 
years  afterwards  called,  but  now  known  as  the  Colo- 
rado &  Southern.  It  passed  by  the  sites  of  the  pres- 
ent towns  of  Berthoud  and  the  present  city  of  Love- 
land  and  was  completed  and  put  into  operation  in 
October  1877.  A  depot  and  telegraph  station  were 
opened  in  Fort  Collins  on  the  7th  day  of  October. 
The  towns  of  Loveland  and  Berthoud  had  their  ori- 
gin soon  after  the  road  was  completed.  The  Greeley 
Salt  Lake  and  Pacific  railroad  from  Greeley  west- 
ward through  Fort  Collins  was  built  in  1882,  and  a 
few  months  later  the  two  roads  fell  into  the  possess- 
ion of  the  Union  Pacific  Railroad  company  which, 
in  1884,  took  up  the  rails  on  the  Colorado  Central 
from  Fort  Collins  to  Cheyenne,  thus  cutting  Lari- 
mer county  off  from  direct  communication  with 
Wyoming. 

The  tax  levy  for  1867  was  fixed  at  1  mill  for 
school  purposes,  3  mills  for  territorial  purposes,  and 
8  mills  for  county  purposes.  Licenses  to  sell  liquors 
were  issued  October  7th,  to  Peter  Decora,  Cornelius 
Maxwell  and  Provost  &  Claymore,  at  $100  each 
per  annum.  The  rates  of  toll  to  be  charged  on  the 
Laporte,  Virginia  Dale  and  Boundary  Line  wagon 
road  were  fixed  at  25  cents  for  team  and  wagon,  2 
cents  per  head  for  loose  stock,  15  cents  for  carriages 
and  teams,  and  1  cent  per  head  for  sheep  and  hogs. 
At  a  special  session  of  the  board  held  March  12th, 
1868,  it  was  ordered  that  a  county  jail,  14  feet 
square,  8  feet  high,  be  built  of  hewn  logs.  This 
jail  was  built  at  Laporte  by  B.  T.  Whedbee  and 
Charles  W.  Ramer  hauled  the  logs  for  it  from  the 
mountains  with  an  ox-team.  The  tax  levy  for  that 
year  was  fixed  at  20  mills  for  county  purposes;  5 
mills,  for  territorial  purposes  and  5  mills  for  school 
purposes,  at  a  session  of  the  board  held  July  6th.  At 
this  meeting  a  petition  signed  by  99  of  the  legal 
voters  of  the  county,  was  presented  asking  the  board 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


to  call  an  election  for  the  purpose  of  voting  on  a  per- 
manent location  of  the  county  seat.  The  prayer  of 
the  petitioners  was  granted  and  the  county  clerk 
directed  to  post  notices  of  such  election  in  each  of  the 
voting  precincts.  This  election  was  held  on  the  8th 
day  of  September,  1868.  Old  St.  Louis,  situated  on 
the  Big  Thompson  one  mile  east  of  the  present  city 
of  Loveland,  Laporte  and  Camp  Collins,  each  as- 
pired to  the  honor  of  being  known  as  the  county 
seat,  but  the  election  resulted  in  favor  of  Camp 
Collins.  On  August  5th,  the  board  set  off  and 
created  the  following  elections:  precincts  No.  1,  La- 
porte; No.  2,  Camp  Collins;  No.  3,  Sherwood;  No. 
4,  Big  Thompson ;  No.  5,  Livermore. 

On  the  5th  of  October  Mason  &  Co.  were  noti- 
fied to  immediately  move  the  county  jail,  safe,  books, 
records  and  papers  belonging  to  Larimer  county 
from  Laporte  to  Camp  Collins.  This  was  done 
and  the  next  meeting  of  the  board  was  held  Novem- 
ber 17th,  1868,  at  Camp  Collins.  Abner  Loomis 
and  James  B.  Arthur  were  the  only  members  pres- 
ent. From  this  on  for  several  years  the  sessions  of 
the  board  were  held  in  the  Old  Grout  building 
erected  for  a  sutler's  store  in  1865  on  the  site  of  F. 
P.  Stover's  drug  store,  which  had  been  fitted  up 
with  bookcases,  desks,  tables,  chairs  and  a  stove  for 
the  use  of  the  board.  The  room  on  the  second  floor 
of  the  building,  occupied  by  the  board  of  commis- 
sioners, was  also  used  as  a  court  room,  for  church 
and  Sunday  school  purposes,  theaters  and  balls.  One 
of  the  bills  allowed  at  this  session  was  for  $10  to  C. 
Boulware  for  making  a  cofKn  for  a  man  killed  by  the 
Indians,  but  who  the  man  was  and  where  he  was 
killed  are  not  divulged  by  the  records. 

Beginning  with  July  5th,  1869,  the  records  of  the 
board  of  commissioners  were  dated  at  Fort  Collins, 
instead  of  Camp  Collins,  showing  that  the  people  had 
become  ambitious  and  discarded  the  common  every 
day  term  "Camp"  for  the  more  aristocratic  title 
"Fort".  From  that  time  to  the  present  the  town 
has  been  known  as  Fort  Collins,  though,  until  Fort 
Logan  was  established  near  Denver  a  few  years 
ago,  there  was  no  fort  nearer  than  Fort  Laramie, 
130  miles  away. 

It  is  -apparent  from  the  records  that  in  1870, 
stage  robbers  had  begun  to  commit  depredations  on 
the  Denver  and  Cheyenne  stage  line,  owned  by 
Mason  &  Co.,  for  on  the  4th  of  January  that  year 
the  board  offered  a  reward  of  $250  for  the  capture 
and  delivery  of  the  robbers  to  the  Larimer  county 
authorities.  No  one  ever  called  for  the  reward,  so 
it  is  safe  to  say  that  the  robbers  were  not  caught. 


At  the  meeting  held  November  7th,  1870, 
Lorenzo  Snyder  appeared  as  a  member  in  place  of 
William  A.  Bean,  whose  term  of  office  had  expired. 
The  new  board  was  composed  of  James  B.  Arthur, 
Abner  Loomis  and  Lorenzo  Snyder,  with  Mr. 
Arthur  as  chairman.  H.  W.  Chamberlin,  clerk;  C. 
C.  Hawley,  assessor,  and  A.  K.  Yount,  probate 
judge. 

On  the  petition  of  A.  R.  Chaffee  and  29  others, 
the  board,  on  December  26th,  1870,  laid  out  and 
established  the  Rist  canon  road  from  the  southeast 
corner  of  John  B.  Provost's  claim  to  the  divide  be- 
tween the  head  of  Rist  canon  and  the  Redstone 
creek;  this  is  the  road  that  leads  over  Bingham  hill. 
At  this  session  of  the  board  the  grand  jury  sub- 
mitted, the  following  report  on  the  county  jail: 

"The  grand  jury  now  in  session  beg  leave  to 
report  to  the  county  commissioners  that  the  pres- 
ent jail  is  insecure  and  not  worth  repairing,  and 
that  they  put  it  to  a  vote  of  the  people  if  we  build 
a  new  one,  at  the  next  general  election.  Signed, 
J.  W.  Smith,  A.  L.  Fell,  J.  P.  Warren,  Thomas 
Cross,  P.  J.  Bosworth,  committee."  Beyond  ac- 
cepting the  report,  the  board  took  no  action,  and  the 
old  log  jail  was  continued  in  use. 

The  session  of  January  2nd,  1871,  was  given 
over  to  the  hearing  of  road  petitions,  and  quite  a 
number  were  acted  upon.  The  country  was  set- 
tling up  and  ranchmen  were  fencing  their  premi- 
ses, making  it  necessary  that  public  roads  be  laid 
out  and  established  for  the  convenience  of  the  peo- 
ple. They  could  no  longer  drive  where  they 
pleased  over  the  open  prairie  as  they  had  done  in 
years  that  had  passed,  so  that  for  several  years  be- 
ginning with  this  period,  much  of  the  work  of  the 
county  commissioners  consisted  in  hearing  and  act- 
ing upon  road  petitions  and  in  laying  out  and  estab- 
lishing public  highways.  At  the  session  held  April 
3rd,  1871,  the  board  purchased  the  W.  J.  &  O.  M. 
Carwile  toll  bridge  over  the  Little  Thompson 
creek  for  $75,  and  the  Mariana  toll  bridge  over 
the  Big  Thompson  river  for  $200,  making  them 
public  bridges.  The  Buckhorn  election  precinct 
was  also  set  off  at  this  session,  and  John  C.  Ish, 
James  R.  Oliver  and  Lucas  Brandt  were  appointed 
judges  of  election.  The  tax  levy  for  the  year  was 
fixed  at  7^  mills  for  county  purposes,  and  4i  mills 
for  school  purposes.  The  resignation  of  A.  K.  Yount 
as  probate  judge,  was  accepted,  and  Alfred  F. 
Howes  was  appointed  to  fill  the  vacancy. 

In  September  of  that  year  F.  W.  Sherwood  was 
elected  a  member  of  the  board  to  succeed  James  B. 


[61] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNT  Y 


COLORADO 


Arthur.  Mr.  Sherwood  met  with  the  board  for  the 
first  time  on  October  6th.  On  February  3rd,  1872, 
in  compliance  with  the  petition  of  citizens,  liquor 
licenses  were  increased  from  $100  to  $300  per 
annum,  and  on  March  4th,  C.  C.  Hawley  was  ap- 
pointed corresponding  clerk  of  the  Colorado  Im- 
migration society. 

At  the  session  held  November  4th,  the  board  or- 
dered a  special  election  to  be  held  December  9th, 

1872,  to  vote  on  the  proposition  of  issuing  the  bonds 
of  the  county  to  the  am.ount  of  $100,000  to  aid  in 
the  construction  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  &  Pacific 
railroad.  The  judges  appointed  to  conduct  said 
election  were: 

Precinct  No.  1,  Laporte — James  H.  Swan,  W.  F. 
Watrous,  Thomas  Gill. 

Precinct  No.  2,  Fort  Collins— B.  T.  Whedbee,  J. 
H.  Bradstreet,   George   Sykes. 

Precinct  No.  3,  Sherwood — J.  B.  Arthur, 
Thomas  Earnest,  John  Hilton. 

Precinct  No.  4,  Big  Thompson — George  Litle, 
James  S.  Carwile,  Thomas  Cross. 

Precinct  No.  5,  Livermore — William  Calloway, 
Russell  Fisk,  John  Fitz. 

Precinct  No.  6,  Buckhorn — Ed.  Clark,  Frank 
Tower,  H.  Clayton. 

The  order  calling  the  election  was  revoked  No- 
vember 25th,  at  the  request  of  the  railroad  com- 
pany, and  therefore  no  election  was  held. 

At  the  session  of  the  board  held  February  3rd, 

1873,  a  petition  was  presented  by  the  taxpayers  of 
Fort  Collins,  asking  that  said  town  be  incorporated. 
The  commissioners  being  satisfied  that  two-thirds 
of  the  tax  payers  in  said  town  had  signed  the  peti- 
tion, ordered  that  the  town  of  Fort  Collins  be  in- 
corporated and  appointed  B.  T.  Whedbee,  G.  G. 
Blake,  H.  C.  Peterson,  W.  C.  Stover  and  W.  S. 
Vescelius  trustees  of  said  town  to  serve  until  their 
successors  were  elected.  L.  R.  Rhodes  was  ap- 
pointed county  attorney  at  this  meeting,  and  the  sum 
of  $1200  was  appropriated  for  the  purpose  of  build- 
ing a  bridge  over  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river  at  the 
foot  of  College  avenue,  provided  the  trustees  of  the 
town  of  Fort  Collins  built  a  good  practicable  road 
to  and  from  said  bridge. 

Election  precincts.  No.  7  (Virginia  Dale)  and 
No.  8,  (Little  Thompson)  were  set  off  and  estab- 
lished, July  20th,  1874. 

At  the  election  held  in  September,  1874,  the  fol- 
lowing county  officers  were   elected :     Jack   Dow, 

[62] 


county  surveyor ;  Fred  Wallace,  assessor ;  J.  E.  Rem- 
ington, probate  judge;  A.  H.  Patterson,  county 
clerk;  Joseph  Mason,  sheriff;  John  G.  Coy,  county 
commissioner ;  R.  W.  Bosworth,  county  superintend- 
ent. The  county  treasurer  elect  failing  to  qualify, 
Wm.  B.  Osborn  was  appointed  treasurer,  Novem- 
23th  to  fill  the  vacancy.  On  December  7th,  1874, 
thirteen  road  districts  were  formed  and  overseers 
were  appointed  as  follows:  No.  1,  G.  W.  Collier; 
No.  2,  W.  A.  Bean;  No.  3,  J.  J.  Ryan;  No.  4,  Gil- 
bert Tower;  No.  5,  George  W.  Richart;  No.  6, 
Lewis  Kern;  No.  7,  Norman  Piatt;  No.  8,  W.  S. 
Vescelius;  No.  9,  D.  T.  Jackson;  No.  10,  Jacob 
Flowers;  No.  11,  M.  L.  Sawin;  No.  12,  Edward 
Davies;  No.  13,  A.  J.  Shotwell. 

R.  W.  Cloud  was  awarded  the  contract  on  March 
1st,  1875,  for  building  the  bridge  over  the  Cache  la 
Poudre  river,  to  cost  $864. 

On  Tuesday,  May  4th,  1875,  the  board  adopted 
a  resolution  requiring  all  persons  floating  timber 
down  the  Cache  la  Poudre  and  Big  Thompson 
rivers  to  give  bonds  to  secure  ditch  owners  from 
damage  to  their  dams  and  headgates  during  the 
timber  driving  season.  Timber  drivers  on  the  Cache 
la  Poudre  were  required  to  give  bonds  in  the  sum  of 
$15,000  and  those  on  the  Big  Thompson  in  the  sum 
of  $5,000.  In  those  days  thousands  of  saw  logs,  rail- 
road ties,  and  mine  props  were  cut  in  the  mountains 
during  the  winter  and  floated  down  during  high 
water  to  the  railroad  at  Greeley,  where  the  logs 
were  sawed  into  lumber  and  the  ties  and  mine 
props  shipped  to  points  where  they  were  needed. 
At  times  the  streams  would  be  choked  with  floating 
timber  which  frequently  tore  out  dams  and  carried 
away  headgates  of  irrigating  ditches  to  the  great 
damage    of    owners. 

Estes  Park  was  set  off  and  organized  as  an  elec- 
tion precinct  in  September  1875,  and  the  board  ap- 
propriated $300  for  use  in  opening  a  county  road 
from  Bald  Mountain  to  the  Park.  On  November 
1st,  a  contract  was  let  to  John  W.  Boyd  to  build  a 
vault  for  use  in  protecting  county  records,  books, 
and  papers  from  danger  of  destruction  by  fire.  For 
this  work  the  contractor  was  to  be  paid  the  sum  of 
$350.  At  this  session  the  proposition  of  Charles 
Emerson,  J.  B.  Flower,  John  C.  Abbott,  J.  H. 
Boughton,  James  Conroy  and  Coon  &  Scranton  to 
donate  to  the  county  the  sum  of  $800  to  be  expended 
in  erecting  a  building  suitable  for  use  of  the  county 
officers,  was  accepted.  This  action  of  the  board  re- 
sulted in  bringing  on  a  fight  between  the  old  town 
and  the  new  town,  which  raged  with  much  bitter- 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


ness  for  nearly  twenty  years.  The  old  town  as 
laid  out  in  1866,  was  extended  from  the  river  south 
to  Mountain  avenue  and  west  from  where  the  old 
foundry  stood  on  Riverside  avenue  to  College  ave- 
nue, the  streets  running  southeast  and  northwest, 
practically  parallel  with  the  river.  In  1872  the 
colony  came  and  laid  out  and  platted  a  new  town 
abutting  on  the  south  and  west  boundaries  of  the  old 
town.  At  this  time  all  the  stores,  shops,  hotels  and 
other  business  places,  including  the  postoflSce  and  tel- 
egraph station  were  located  in  the  old  town,  whose 
inhabitants  watched  with  a  jealous  eye  the  improve- 
ments that  were  being  made,  the  business  houses  es- 
tablished and  homes  erected  in  the  new  town.  The 
colony  had  donated  to  the  county  block  101,  where 
the  court  house  now  stands,  as  a  site  for  the  court 
house  and  it  was  on  this  ground  that  the  proposed 
county  offices  were  to  be  built.  With  the  idea  of 
heading  oil  and  preventing  the  erection  of  the  pro- 
posed offices  in  court  square,  by  which  the  new  town 
would  receive  a  more  direct  benefit  than  the  old 
town,  W.  C.  Stover  and  A.  K.  Yount  represent- 
ing the  interests  of  the  old  town,  submitted  a  coun- 
ter proposition  as  follows.  "That  they  would  build 
offices  and  vaults  and  give  the  county  the  use  of 
them  rent  free  for  an  indefinite  period  of  time,  or  so 
long  as  the  county  saw  fit  to  occupy  them.  The 
board  rejected  the  proposition  and  on  November 
3rd,  let  a  contract  to  Eph  Love  and  Jonas  Boorse  to 
erect  a  small  building  on  block  101,  for  county 
offices.  The  building  was  one  story  high,  about  16 
by  30  in  size,  and  contained  two  rooms,  one  for  the 
county  clerk  and  the  other  for  the  county  treasurer, 
for  which  they  were  to  receive  $490.  This  build- 
ing was  used  until  thirteen  years  later  when  the 
new  court  house  was  completed  and  ready  to 
occupy,  then  sold  and  moved  to  a  lot  on  S.  Sher- 
wood street  where  it  was  fitted  up  as  a  dwelling 
and  is  still  used  as  such. 

On  February  1st,  1876,  Joseph  Mason  resigned 
the  office  of  sheriff  and  Eph  Love  was  appointed  to 
fill  the  vacancy,  and  on  April  2nd,  A.  H.  Patterson 
tendered  his  resignation  as  county  clerk  and  re- 
corder, which  was  accepted.  Charles  P.  Scott  of 
Big  Thompson  was  appointed  to  fill  the  vacancy 
thus    created. 

Previous  to  the  adoption  of  the  state  constitution 
and  the  admission  of  Colorado  into  the  Union  as  a 
sovereign  state,  all  county  officers  assumed  the  duties 
of  their  respective  positions  immediately  after  the 
result  of  the  elections  held  in  September  had  been 
declared,  but  since  then,  acting  under  a  state  law. 


they  have  taken  their  offices  in  the  month  of  Janu- 
ary next  following  their  election.  On  December 
1st,  1877,  Marcus  Coon  resigned  the  office  of 
sheriff,  to  which  he  had  been  elected  in  October, 
1876,  and  James  Sweeney  was  appointed  to  succeed 
him  until  the  election  of  1878.  At  this  election 
Mr.  Sweeney  was  chosen  by  the  people  to  succeed 
himself  and  was  thereafter  reelected  three  times  in 
succession. 

Up  to  February  1878,  the  board  of  county  com- 
missioners had  been  accustomed  to  granting  licenses 
to  saloon  keepers  outside  the  limits  of  incorporated 
towns  to  sell  liquors.  At  first  the  license  fee  was 
fixed  at  $100  per  annum,  but  later  increased  to 
$300,  the  object  of  the  commissioners  in  in- 
creasing the  fee  being  to  reduce  the  number  of 
saloons  and  doggeries  in  the  county.  This  failing 
to  have  the  desired  effect,  the  commissioners,  on 
the  4th  of  February,  1878,  passed  and  adopted  the 
following  resolution: 

"Be  it  resolved,  that  no  further  licenses  will  be 
granted  by  the  board  of  commissioners  for  the  sale 
of  spirituous,  vinous,  fermented  and  intoxicating 
liquors  after  this  date." 

This  resolution  went  into  effect  at  once  and  from 
that  time  down  to  the  present,  the  commissioners 
have  steadily  and  consistently  refused  to  grant  or 
issue  liquor  licenses  in  Larimer  county.  The  mem- 
bers of  the  board  then  were  Noah  Bristol,  Lewis 
Cross  and  Revilo  Loveland. 

This  brings  the  commissioners'  records  relating  to 
the  most  important  matters  dealt  with  by  them 
during  what  might  be  called  the  pioneer  or  forma- 
tive period  of  the  county,  down  to  the  time  Colo- 
rado became  a  state  when  a  new  and  more  system- 
atic manner  of  transacting  public  business  was 
inaugurated.  The  board  was  composed  of  the  same 
number  of  members  who  had  been  elected  in  the 
same  manner  as  their  predecessors,  but  they  held 
regular  meetings  at  intervals  prescribed  by  law,  per- 
forming their  duties  in  a  more  methodical  way  and 
a  better,  more  complete  and  more  business-like 
record  of  their  proceedings  was  kept  than  had  been 
the  rule  with  their  predecessors  during  Territorial 
days.  From  1878  down  the  records  of  the  com- 
missioners' proceedings  have  been  preserved  in  a 
neat  and  orderly  manner  and  are  full  and  complete 
in  all  essential  particulars.  This  is  also  true  of  the 
other  departments  of  the  county  government,  so  since 
that  time  a  full,  accurate  and  complete  record  of 
every  transaction  of  a  public  nature  has  been  pre- 
served in  each  of  the  county  offices.     Before  that 

[63] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


time,  however,  the  public  records  are  indefinite  and 
incomplete,  making  it  impossible  to  prepare  a  con- 
nected and  intelligible  transcript  of  them. 

What  Attracted  People  to  Larimer 
County 

The  climate  of  Colorado  is  of  vital  importance 
to  the  thousands  of  invalids  throughout  the  world, 
as  is  evidenced  by  the  great  number  who  have  come 
to  the  state  and  are  now  enjoying  renewed  health, 
prosperity  and  happiness.  Many  such  people  are  to 
be  found  comfortably  located  in  Larimer  county. 
In  the  summer  the  days  are  seldom  hot,  and  it  is 
very  unusual  for  the  mercury  to  rise  higher  than 
90  degrees;  even  at  this  point  there  is  less  discom- 
fort than  at  a  temperature  of  80  degrees  in  the 
lower  altitudes.  It  may  be  truly  said  that  the  dryer 
the  atmosphere  the  less  discomfort  felt  from  heat  or 
cold.  The  summer  climate  of  Fort  Collins,  Love- 
land,  Berthoud  and  other  towns  in  the  county  east 
of  the  mountains,  is  equal  to  that  of  the  Northern 
lakes  and  of  Maine  on  the  eastern  coast.  In  tem- 
perature, the  eastern  part  of  the  county  may  be 
compared  with  that  of  the  Champaigne  districts  in 
France.  The  temperature  belt  corresponds  with 
that  of  Scotland.  The  foot-hill  section  with  that 
of  Southern  Sweden.  In  the  mountain  regions  may 
be  found  all  varieties  of  climate,  from  that  of  Nor- 
way to  that  of  Southern  Iceland.  Citizens  of  Colo- 
rado, in  a  few  hours  travel  by  rail  may  enjoy  the 
warmth  of  France  or  the  cooler  air  of  the  approach 
to  the  Artie  Circle.  The  dryness  of  the  atmosphere 
is  of  great  importance  to  the  health  and  comfort  of 
persons  seeking  a  congenial  climate.  The  pure 
life-giving  air  and  the  comfort  of  the  average 
winters  and  summers,  as  compared  with  states  far- 
ther east,  are  features  heartily  appreciated  by  those 
who  have  made  Colorado  their  home.  The  medical 
profession  is  rapidly  coming  to  the  belief  that  health 
depends  largely  upon  the  proper  assimilation  of 
food.  An  excess  of  moisture  in  the  atmosphere  has 
a  depressing  efifect  upon  the  nervous  system,  govern- 
ing nutrition,  and  it  is  largely  because  of  the  absence 
of  moisture  in  the  air  of  Colorado  that  digestion  is 
promoted   and  health   preserved. 

Sunshine  is  the  life  of  everything.  In  Colorado 
the  records  of  the  weather  bureau  show  that  320 
out  of  365  days  of  the  year  are  "sunny  days".  In 
Switzerland,  8,500  feet  is  the  line  of  perpetual 
snow;  in  Colorado  the  timber  line  is  11,000  feet. 
Davos  Platz  (5,200  feet)  in  Switzerland  is  un- 
questionably the  most  desirable  health  resort  in 
Europe.      The    leading   climatologists    of    London, 

[64] 


Glasgow,  Boston  and  New  York  say  that  Colorado 
climate  is  far  superior  to  Davos  Platz  for  pulmon- 
ary troubles.  In  the  eastern  part  of  Larimer 
county  at  elevations  ranging  from  4,800  to  5,200 
feet  are  large  and  very  fruitful  orchards,  bearing 
apples,  cherries  and  plums,  while  strawberries, 
raspberries,  currants  and  gooseberries  yield  enor- 
mous crops  and  grow  to  their  greatest  perfection. 

Larimer  county  receives  the  first  waters  of  sev- 
eral very  important  streams  and  from  these  streams 
irrigating  canals  have  been  constructed,  immense 
reservoirs  built  and  lateral  ditches  run  in  every 
direction  until  a  large  area  of  the  plains  portion  of 
the  county  and  many  of  the  foothill  parks  are 
covered  by  a  network  of  canals  and  ditches  that 
furnish  a  never  failing  supply  of  water  throughout 
the  irrigating  season.  About  200,000  acres  is  the 
total  covered  by  these  canals  in  the  county,  but 
many  of  them  extend  into  Weld  county  on  the 
east  where  many  thousands  of  acres  additional  are 
irrigated.  The  streams  furnishing  this  supply  are 
the  Laramie,  Grand,  Cache  la  Poudre  and  Big 
Thompson  rivers  and  the  Little  Thompson  and 
Boxelder  creeks.  In  addition  to  the  supply  fur- 
nished during  the  irrigating  season  from  these 
streams,  the  different  storage  reservoirs  already  con- 
structed hold  more  than  ten  billion  cubic  feet  of 
water,  which  is  held  in  check  during  the  spring 
and  early  summer,  when  the  streams  are  running 
full,  and  drawn  out  into  the  canals  later  in  the 
season  when  the  waters  of  the  rivers  and  creeks  are 
low.  These  reservoirs  are  filled  during  the  winter 
and  from  the  surplus  flood  waters  that  flow  down 
the  streams  in  the  spring,  and  they  contain  enough 
water  to  irrigate  and  mature  the  late  crops,  such 
as  sugar  beets,  potatoes,  etc.  The  eastern  portion  of 
the  county  is  admirably  adapted  to  irrigation  farm- 
ing. The  canals  are  built  on  a  grade  that  carries 
them  far  out  on  the  higher  lands,  and  from  these 
lateral  ditches  have  in  turn  been  constructed  to 
carry  the  water  on  to  the  cultivated  fields  and 
meadows,  so  that  nearly  all  the  available  land  is 
easily  and  cheaply  given  the  moisture  needed  to 
mature  a  crop.  The  streams  that  furnish  the  supply 
of  water  all  have  their  source  in  the  mountain  snow 
fields,  high  up  among  the  hills,  and  they  bring  down 
to  the  headgates  of  the  various  irrigating  canals  a  lot 
of  good  mineral  fertilizing  material  which,  being 
spread  over  the  land  by  the  water  used  in  irrigating, 
adds  to  the  fertility  of  the  soil  and  helps  to  keep  it 
from  becoming  exhausted  by  a  succession  of  crops. 

In  addition  to  the  irrigating  systems  already  in 
operation  there  are  several  others  in  contemplation 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


and  the  construction  of  some  of  them  is  now  in 
progress.  The  most  important  of  these  is  what  is 
known  as  the  Laramie- Poudre  project,  which  when 
completed  will  supply  water  to  about  125,000  acres 
of  land  in  the  Northern  parts  of  Larimer  and  Weld 
counties.  Completed  according  to  plans,  this  pro- 
ject will  cost  about  five  million  dollars.  A  portion 
of  its  water  supply  will  be  taken  from  the  Laramie 
river  at  a  point  high  up  in  the  mountains.  As  a 
means  of  diverting  the  water  to  the  Cache  la  Poudre 
water  shed,  a  tunnel  two  and  one-fourth  miles  in 
length,  is  being  driven  through  the  divide  that  sep- 
arates the  two  streams,  through  which  the  water  will 
flow  into  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river.  It  will  be 
taken  out  at  the  company's  headgate  lower  down 
the  stream  and  thence  carried  out  on  to  the  land 
through  irrigating  canals  and  lateral  ditches.  Work 
on  the  tunnel  is  now  in  progress,  more  than  half  of 
it  being  completed.  The  Laramie- Poudre  Reser- 
voirs &  Irrigation  company  which  has  entered  upon 
this  stupendous  project  and  is  pushing  it  forward 
with  surprising  vigor,  will  supplement  the  supply 
derived  from  the  Laramie  river  and  its  tributaries 
by  an  extensive  system  of  reservoirs  located  on  the 
Plains,  several  of  which  are  already  constructed 
and  others  in  process  of  construction.  These  reser- 
voirs will  catch  and  hold  in  check  a  portion  of  the 
spring  flood  waters  of  the  various  streams  and  also 
the  surface  flood  waters  which,  during  storms  of 
rain,  flow  down  the  declivities  in  great  volume. 

With  the  advantages  of  a  genial  climate,  a  fertile 
soil  and  abundance  of  water  for  irrigation,  good 
markets  for  the  products  of  the  farm  and  range,  in 
addition  to  the  various  attractions  afforded  by  the 
grand  old  mountains  with  their  snow-capped  peaks, 
awe-inspiring  canons,  rushing  streams,  beautiful 
parks  and  forests  of  timber,  it  is  not  surprising  that 
thousands  of  the  best  people  on  earth  are  found 
happily  and  prosperously  located  within  the  borders 
of   Larimer   county.     And   yet   there   is    room    for 


Society,  Occupations  and  Pastimes 

Society  in  the  early  days  was  on  an  altogether 
diflterent  basis  from  that  of  the  present  period. 
When  the  pioneers  came  to  the  Cache  la  Poudre  and 
Big  Thompson  valleys,  there  was  no  law  by  which 
the  actions  of  men  were  governed  in  their  relation 
to  others,  but  it  is  not  so  certain,  says  a  writer, 
that  the  code  of  the  wilderness  would  not  bear 
favorable  comparison  with  that  of  modern  times. 
When  it  comes  to  the  personal  relations  of  individ- 


uals to  each  other,  the  account  stands  in  favor  of  the 
wilderness.  It  has  often  been  demonstrated  in  the 
history  of  the  west  that  the  existence  of  laws  and  the 
presence  of  lawyers  to  expound  and  of  officers  to  en- 
force them,  are  not  indispensable  to  a  just  and  or- 
derly condition  in  thinly  settled  portions  of  a  coun- 
try. It  was  the  universal  testimony  of  those  familiar 
with  the  life  of  the  frontiersman  and  with  that  of 
the  pioneer,  that  crimes  of  all  colors  were  never  so 
few,  and  punishment  for  such  as  were  committed 
so  just,  and  swift  and  sure,  as  in  these  remote  locali- 
ties where  there  were  neither  laws  nor  lawyers. 
Men  trusted  each  other.  Unless  there  were  circum- 
stances to  justify  it  the  frontiersman  was  never 
known  to  invade  the  property,  or  rights  of  his 
neighbor,  even  though  detection  and  discovery 
were  impossible.  A  pioneer  seldom  locked  his  door 
when  leaving  home.  He  felt  secure  in  the  be- 
lief that  unless  in  a  case  of  extreme  necessity,  the 
contents  of  his  home  would  not  be  disturbed.  Each 
man  was  in  a  measure,  a  law  unto  himself,  but 
here  on  the  frontier  more  than  in  the  older  com- 
munities, far  more,  the  precepts  of  the  Golden  Rule 
prevailed,  and  every  man  tried  to  treat  his  neigh- 
bor fairly.  The  pioneers,  though  assembled  from 
widely  differing  communities  in  the  east  and  reared 
under  widely  differing  conditions  had  a  true  sense 
of  justice  and  if  they  administered  it  oftentimes  in 
a  rough  fashion,  there  was  rarely  any  complaint  that 
their  judgments  were  wrong.  "No  court,  or  jury 
is  called  to  adjudicate  upon  his  disputes  or  abuses," 
says  Gregg,  "save  his  own  conscience;  and  no 
powers  are  invoked  to  settle  them  save  those  with 
which  the  God  of  Nature  has  endowed  him."  It  may 
be  truly  said  that  among  the  pioneers  the  personal 
relations  of  individuals  to  each  other  were  as  har- 
monious and  just  as  they  are  under  the  most  elab- 
orate social  organizations. 

Trapping,  hunting  and  fishing  were  the  prin- 
cipal occupations  of  the  little  colony  at  Laporte  in 
1858-9 — tilling  of  the  soil  not  being  thought  of — 
and  horse  races,  foot  races  and  target  shooting  the 
principal  amusements.  Society  was  in  a  primitive 
state,  but  human  nature  is  the  same  the  world  over 
and  likes  to  be  amused.  It  was  so  with  the  pioneer. 
While  their  social  gatherings,  dances  and  parties 
lacked  in  refinement  in  dress  and  manner  of  those 
of  the  present  day,  they  enjoyed  them  to  the  utmost, 
and  it  is  not  for  us  of  these  latter  days  to  sneer  at 
and  ridicule  them.  Our  masquerades  and  carnivals 
are  the  same  thing  over  again,  with  a  little  more 
finery,  daintier  refreshments  and  fancier  liquors. 
Horse   racing  is   as   popular   all   over   the   country 

[65] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


in  our  day  as  it  was  with  the  first  settlers,  and  Capt. 
John  Smith's  squaw  wife  was  presented  at  the  court 
of  England  with  all  the  honors  that  accompany 
state  presentations  of  today.  Indeed,  Pocahontas  is 
the  only  American  female  honored  by  a  place  on 
American  coins.  It  is  surely  no  disgrace  then,  that 
many  of  the  first  settlers  had  Pocahontas  wives. 
Indeed  there  was  not  a  single  white  woman  on  the 
Poudre  in  1858,  and  only  one  in  1859. 

One  of  the  notable  features  in  the  social  affairs 
of  the  Poudre  was  the  weekly  dog  feast.  This 
feature  was  introduced  by  the  squaw  wives  of  the 
settlers.  A  good,  fat,  healthy  dog  was  slain  each 
week,  and  the  hair  singed  off  over  a  fire  made  of  dry 
grass.  Then  it  was  put  into  a  kettle  and  boiled 
until  tender.  The  meat  somewhat  resembled  pork, 
and  was  considered  a  great  delicacy.  Some  of  the 
feasters,  however,  could  never  muster  up  courage 
enough  to  taste  it,  and  as  a  result  the  dog  feast  soon 
became  a  relic  of  the  past.  In  those  days,  the  set- 
tlers had  no  calves,  lambs  or  beeves  to  roast,  no 
clams  to  bake,  no  oysters  for  church  suppers,  no 
terrapin,  and  they  just  had  to  boil  dog  or  have  no 
feast  at  all.  It  was  no  uncommon  thing  for  them  to 
be  without  flour  for  two  or  three  weeks  at  a  time. 
Then  hoe-cakes  were  made  of  Government  corn, 
brought  all  the  way  from  Fort  Laramie,  and  ground 
by  female  hands  between  common  rocks.  This  is 
no  fancy  sketch,  but  the  pure  and  unadulterated 
truth,  as  can  be  substantiated  by  the  survivors  of 
that  early  period. 

Overland  Stage  and  Indian  Troubles 

During  the  summer  of  1862  the  route  of  the 
Overland  stage  was  changed  from  the  North  Platte 
to  the  South  Platte.  This  change  was  made  on  ac- 
count of  the  many  dangers  from  Indian  raids  on 
the  coaches  and  stations  and  the  difficulties  exper- 
ienced in  keeping  the  line  open.  The  new  road  led 
by  the  way  of  Julesburg  to  Denver,  thence  along 
the  base  of  the  mountains  to  Laporte  where  it 
entered  the  mountains  and  thence  via  Virginia  Dale, 
to  the  Laramie  Plains  and  then  due  west,  to  a  junc- 
tion with  the  old  Overland  trail.  Speaking  of  this 
change  Coutant's  History  of  Wyoming  says,  "The 
transfer  to  the  new  line  was  so  successfully  accom- 
plished that  not  a  mail  was  missed  or  a  coach  de- 
layed. The  rolling  stock,  horses  and  other  property 
of  the  stage  company  was  transferred  from  the  old  to 
the  new  line  with  Company  A  of  the  Eleventh  Ohio 
cavalry  acting  as  escort.  After  escorting  the  stage 
stock  to  the  new  line  of  operations,  the  command 

[66] 


selected  the  site  for  Fort  Halleck  and  constructed 
the  buildings.  The  fort  was  located  on  the  new 
Overland  route  and  was  garrisoned  for  some  years 
by  troops  from  the  Eleventh  Ohio.  The  official 
orders  locating  Fort  Sanders  in  1866  includes  the 
abandonment  of  Fort  Halleck. 

"A  description  of  the  equipment  of  the  Overland 
road  by  Ben  Holladay  may  not  prove  uninteresting, 
considering  the  great  disadvantages  the  stage  comp- 
any labored  under  in  providing  it.  The  coaches, 
express  wagons  and  rolling  stock  generally  were  all 
manufactured  by  the  famous  Concord  Coach  Manu- 
facturing company  of  Concord,  New  Hampshire. 
This  company  not  only  manufactured  the  rolling 
stock  but  supplied  the  material  used  in  the  repair 
shops  along  the  line.  The  harnesses  were  made  by 
the  Hill  Harness  company  of  the  same  city.  The 
material  in  everything  was  of  the  very  best.  The 
stations  along  the  line  averaged  about  ten  miles 
apart,  and  every  fifty  miles  was  what  was  called 
a  'home  station,'  where  the  drivers  changed  and 
made  their  homes.  There  were  also  eating  stations 
for  passengers.  The  intermediate  stopping  places 
were  called  'swing  stations' ;  here  only  horses  were 
changed,  and  at  these  were  kept  two  men  to  take 
care  of  the  stock.  At  every  station  was  a  large  barn 
with  accomodations  for  from  thirty  to  fifty  horses. 
The  grain  was  supplied  from  Fort  Kearney  in 
Nebraska  and  Salt  Lake.  When  there  was  a  failure 
of  crops,  which  sometimes  happened,  horse  feed  was 
shipped  by  wagon  train  from  St.  Louis.  The  main 
shops  were  located  at  Atchison,  Kansas,  Denver, 
Colorado,  and  Salt  Lake,  Utah,  and  there  were  re- 
pair shops  on  each  division  of  200  miles.  Besides 
the  repair  shops,  on  each  of  these  divisions  was  a 
traveling  blacksmith  shop.  This  consisted  of  a 
wagon  fitted  up  with  bellows  and  tools,  drawn  by 
a  team  of  strong  horses.  The  movable  shop  was 
kept  going  constantly  from  one  end  of  the  division  to 
the  other.  There  were  also  harness  makers  and 
menders,  who  traveled  over  each  division  with  his 
tools  and  materials  for  repairing  harness.  The 
supplies  for  this  long  stretch  of  road — that  is,  the 
provisions  used  at  the  stations,  were  purchased  in 
large  quantities  at  St.  Louis  and  sent  out  and  dis- 
tributed among  the  division  points,  and  from  there 
they  were  sent  to  smaller  stations  as  required.  The 
company  owned  large  transportation  trains  of  ox 
and  mule  teams  and  these  transported  all  supplies  to 
stations,  and  on  their  return  hauled  wood  to  places 
along  the  line  when  it  was  needed.  The  first 
division  on  the  main  line  was  from  Atchison  to  Fort 
Kearney;  the  second  from  Fort  Kearney  to  Jules- 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


burg;  the  third  from  Julesburg  to  Denver;  the 
fourth  from  Denver  to  Fort  Steele,  by  way  of  Vir- 
ginia Dale ;  the  fifth  from  Fort  Steele  to  Green  river 
and  the  sixth  from  Green  river  to  Salt  Lake.  Leav- 
ing Denver  going  west  the  stations  in  Colorado 
were  Burlington,  (Longmont),  Namaqua,  (Big 
Thompson),  Laporte,  Park  and  Virginia  Dale. 
One  of  the  superintendents  was  Major  John  Kerr, 
afterwards  a  well-known  and  much  esteemed  citi- 
zen of  Berthoud,  where  he  died  several  years  ago." 

The  Indian  depredations  on  the  Overland  stage 
line  in  1863,  so  intimately  connected  with  the  safety 
and  success  of  that  enterprise,  in  which  Larimer 
county  was  deeply  interested,  a  reference  to  them 
and  the  methods  employed  in  preventing  them  and 
bringing  the  hostiles  to  terms,  is  not  amiss  here. 
Referring  to  and  describing  these  events  and  their 
bloody  results  Coutant's  history  of  Wyoming  says: 

"On  the  13th  of  April  Gen.  Connor,  then  in 
command  of  the  United  States  troops  employed  in 
protecting  the  stage  line  and  emigrants,  on  their 
way  west,  telegraphed  General  Halleck  from  Camp 
Douglass:  'Unless  immediately  reinforced  with 
cavalry,  the  Indians  urged  on  by  the  Mormons  will 
break  up  the  Overland  mail  and  make  the  emigrant 
road  impassable.'  General  Halleck  referred  this 
dispatch  to  General  Schofield,  commanding  the  de- 
partment of  the  Missouri,  and  that  officer  ordered 
Colonel  John  M.  Chivington  to  send  a  cavalry 
force  to  reinforce  General  Connor,  and  the  Colonel, 
after  some  delay,  ordered  four  companies  of  the 
First  Colorado  cavalry,  under  Major  E.  W.  Wyn- 
coop,  to  proceed  west  on  the  Overland  stage  line  as 
far  as  Fort  Bridger  and  cooperate  with  General 
Connor's  forces.  Two  of  these  companies  were 
taken  from  Denver  and  Major  Wyncoop  was  or- 
dered to  proceed  with  these  to  Laporte,  where  two 
other  companies  were  located.  Arriving  there,  he 
found  that  these  troops  were  not  mounted  and  were 
indifferently  armed  and  so  necessarily  considerable 
time  was  lost  before  the  troops  were  ready  for  the 
march  westward.  In  the  meantime,  General  Con- 
nor's forces  had  met  the  hostile  Utes  twenty-five 
miles  west  of  Salt  Lake,  and  after  a  severe  engage- 
ment, had  driven  them  to  the  hills.  A  number  of 
emigrants  had  been  killed  in  that  vicinity;  also 
soldiers  and  stage  drivers. 

"The  delay  of  Major  Wyncoop's  command  re- 
sulted in  permitting  the  Southern  Utes  to  attack 
the  Overland  line  on  the  Laramie  Plains.  On  July 
5th,  these  Indians  attacked  the  stage  company's 
stage  station  at  Cooper  Creek  and  ran  off  all  the 
stock,   and   the  same   night   they  visited    Medicine 


Bow  station  and  carried  off  all  the  provisions  and 
stripped  the  keepers  of  the  station.  Hazard  and 
Nicholas,  of  their  clothing.  The  Indians,  on  being 
pursued  by  the  soldiers  took  shelter  in  the  hills.  On 
the  10th  the  Indians  ran  ofE  all  the  mules  at  Rock 
Creek  station.  These  same  hostiles  ran  off  250  head 
of  horses  a  few  miles  from  Fort  Laramie.  Extend- 
ing their  route  northward,  they  came  upon  211  head 
of  horses  belonging  to  Reshaw  and  others.  By  this 
time  the  condition  of  affairs  along  the  Overland 
route  from  Denver  to  the  North  Platte  had  become 
serious.  Philip  Mandel,  the  hay  contractor  on  the 
stage  line,  had  a  number  of  encounters  with  Indians 
that  season.  He  and  his  men  went  to  the  hay  field 
armed  with  Winchesters  and  kept  close  at  hand 
horses  saddled,  so  as  to  fight  or  run  as  the  occasion 
might  require.  These  Indians  belonged  to  the  same 
tribe  which  had  attacked  the  line  beyond  Salt  Lake. 
General  Connor,  by  urgent  appeals,  had  secured 
reinforcements  from  California,  composed  of  a 
battalion  of  the  Second  cavalry  of  that  state." 

Matters  along  the  stage  line  from  Virginia  Dale 
west  were  badly  demoralized  that  season.  Virginia 
Dale  became  a  place  of  refuge  for  a  number  of 
women  and  children  who  had  been  living  at  stations 
on  the  line  west  of  that  point.  The  depredations 
committed  by  the  Indians  at  Cooper  Creek  and  the 
Medicine  Bow  stations  on  July  5  th  and  these  points 
being  in  such  close  proximity,  the  station  at  Virginia 
Dale  was  kept  in  a  state  of  fear  of  a  visit  from  the 
hostiles  for  weeks  afterwards.  William  S.  Taylor, 
who  was  then  station  keeper  at  the  Dale  kept  him- 
self advised  as  well  as  he  could  of  the  movements 
of  the  Indians  and  was  prepared  to  give  them  a 
warm  reception  should  they  attempt  to  raid  his 
station.  One  day  word  came  down  the  line  from  the 
west  that  a  strong  party  of  Utes  was  on  the  way  to 
raid  the  station  and  drive  off  the  stock.  His  force 
of  station  tenders  and  their  equipment  not  being 
sufficient  to  resist  a  large  force  of  hostiles,  he  re- 
sorted to  a  stratagem  which  sufficed  to  relieve  the 
situation.  Calling  his  men  together  they  constructed 
a  rude  barricade  of  logs  and  timbers  at  a  narrow 
point  which  commanded  the  approach  to  the  sta- 
tion. Taking  down  all  the  stove  pipes  in  the  house 
he  mounted  them  on  the  barricade  in  such  a  manner 
as  to  make  them  look  like  formidable  pieces  of  artil- 
lery, pointing  up  the  road,  all  ready  for  use.  The 
next  day  the  savages  made  their  appearance,  but 
when  they  came  in  sight  of  that  barricade  and  saw 
what  they  supposed  were  cannon  pointing  in  their 
direction  with  men  behind  the  guns  ready  to  fire, 
they  hurriedly  whirled  about  and  fled  back  toward 

[67] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


the  Laramie  Plains  in  great  haste.  Mr.  Taylor,  in 
telling  the  story  how  he  outwitted  the  hostiles,  said 
he  was  not  troubled  by  Indian  scares  after  that. 

When  the  stage  line  was  transferred  from  the 
North  Platte  to  the  South  Platte  in  1862,  nearly 
all  of  the  tide  of  western  emigration  followed  the 
route  taken  by  the  stage,  as  travelers  felt  greater 
security  when  under  the  protection  afforded  by  the 
armed  escort  of  the  Overland  coaches,  with  the 
result  that  hundreds  of  emigrant-trains  and  thous- 
ands of  men,  women  and  children  came  up  the  South 
Platte,  and  fording  that  stream  just  below  the 
mouth  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river,  following  up 
the  north  side  of  the  latter  stream  they  pursued  their 
course  to  the  entrance  to  the  mountains  at  Laporte. 
From  this  point  they  followed  the  stage  road  up 
past  Virginia  Dale  and  thence  on  northwest  to  the 
Laramie  Plains. 

In  the  month  of  February,  1865,  Colonel  W.  O. 
Collins  of  the  Eleventh  Ohio  Cavalry,  in  whose 
honor  Fort  Collins  was  named,  after  a  sharp  fight 
at  Mud  Springs  on  the  North  Platte  defeated  and 
dispersed  a  party  of  2,000  Indians  that  had  come 
down  from  the  north  to  raid  the  stage  stations  along 
the  South  Platte.  Colonel  Collins  was  an  exper- 
ienced Indian  fighter  and  he  made  excellent  disposi- 
tion of  his  small  force  and  won  a  signal  victory  over 
the  enemy.  Two  of  his  soldiers  were  killed,  sixteen 
wounded  and  ten  badly  frost-bitten.  Colonel 
Collins  with  his  command,  returned  to  Fort  Lara- 
mie on  February  14th.  Companies  B  and  F  of 
Colonel  Collins'  Eleventh  Ohio  cavalry,  were  then 
stationed  at  Fort  Collins  and  took  no  part  in  the 
battle  at  Mud  Springs. 

On  March  28th,  1865,  General  G.  W.  Dodge, 
Commander  of  the  Department  of  the  Missouri, 
consolidated  the  districts  of  Utah,  Colorado  and 
Nebraska  into  one  district  to  be  known  as  the  Dis- 
trict of  the  Plains  and  assigned  Brigadier  General 
P.  E.  Connor  to  the  command  with  headquarters  at 
Denver.  General  Connor  was  a  man  of  decided 
character,  discreet,  a  splendid  Indian  fighter,  and 
above  all  things  loved  the  flag  under  which  he 
fought.  Had  he  been  supported  as  he  should  have 
been  and  given  the  troops  he  needed,  he  would  have 
given  the  marauding,  blood  thirsty  Indians  such  a 
lesson  as  would  have  convinced  them  that  it  was 
better  to  remain  at  peace  with  the  whites.  First 
Lieutenant,  Charles  C.  Hawley,  Veteran  battalion, 
First  Colorado  cavalry,  was  appointed  acting  ord- 
nance officer  for  the  South  and  West  sub-districts 
of  the  Plains,  on  General  Connor's  staff.     Lieuten- 

[68] 


ant  Hawley  is  now  and  has  been  for  more  than  45 
years  an  honored  resident  of  Fort  Collins. 

On  the  10th  of  June,  Captain  Wilson,  command- 
ing the  post  at  Fort  Collins,  reported  that  Indians 
had  robbed  the  stage  station  at  Willow  Springs,  and 
that  he  had  started  out  in  pursuit  with  a  force  of 
twenty-five  mien,  but  owing  to  a  bad  storm  coming 
on  he  was  unable  to  get  farther  west  than  Virginia 


MARGUERITE    FALLS,    MORAINE    PARK 
Photo  by  F.  p.  Clatworthy 

Dale,  but  that  he  had  sent  word  to  Sergeant  Lin- 
nell,  commanding  the  detachment  at  Big  Laramie, 
to  send  five  men  to  guard  Willow  Springs  station. 
A  few  days  before  this  a  dispatch  from  Major 
Norton  of  Sixth  U.  S.  volunteers,  dated  at  Vir- 
ginia Dale  and  addressed  to  General  Connor,  said: 
"The  stage  from  the  West  has  just  arrived  at  this 
station,  having  made  but  one  change  of  horses  from 
Fort  Halleck.  All  stations  have  been  abandoned  by 
the  stage  company  except  Big  Laramie.  The  stock 
has  been  concentrated  at  that  place  and  Halleck.  I 
learn  from  the  passengers  that  fourteen  horses  were 
stolen  from  the  latter  place  on  the  4th  inst.  Unless 
the  stage  company  reoccupy  their  stations  I  shall  be 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER        COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


obliged  to  make  a  difEerent  disposition  of  the  escort 
for  self-protection,  if  nothing  else.  There  are  large 
bodies  of  Indians  on  the  road;  the  lowest  accounts 
place  them  at  from  600  to  800.  I  am  on  my  way 
to  Fort  Halleck  with  Capt.  Wilson  and  an  escort  of 
ten  men."  General  Connor  hastened  to  Fort  Collins, 
where  he  found  matters  even  in  a  worse  condition 
than  he  supposed.  Robert  Spottswood,  the  superin- 
tendent of  the  stage  line,  had  withdrawn  all  the 
stage  stock  east  of  Fort  Halleck  and  declined  to  put 
it  on  again  unless  there  was  a  guard  of  thirty  men 
placed  at  each  stage  station.  This  was  out  of  the 
question,  so  General  Connor  sent  the  mail  through 
by  wagons  in  charge  of  soldiers. 

It  will  be  seen  from  the  foregoing  account  of 
Indian  troubles  that  while  the  settlers  of  the  Cache 
la  Poudre  Valley  escaped  serious  inroads  and  losses 
by  the  Indians,  they  were  in  the  danger  zone  and 
liable  at  any  time  during  the  period  of  those  troubles 
to  be  raided  with  loss  of  life  and  property.  They 
had  numerous  scares  and  a  few  horses  were  stolen 
by  the  redskins,  but  we  are  unable  to  learn  that  any 
settlers  in  the  valley  lost  their  lives  at  the  hands  of 
the  Indians.  The  Platte  valley  near  Greeley  did 
not  get  off  so  well.  On  the  24th  of  August,  1868, 
a  small  band  of  Indians  stampeded  the  herd  of  John 
Brush,  driving  off  all  the  horses,  twenty-four  in 
number,  and  killing  four  head  of  cattle.  Some  of 
them  dashed  upon  William  Brush  and  two  of  his 
men,  killing  all  three.  Each  was  shot  three  times, 
and  in  addition  tomahawked  and  scalped.  Horses 
were  stolen  from  other  residents  in  that  vicinity. 
About  dusk  on  the  27th,  a  party  of  sixty-four  citi- 
zens, under  the  lead  of  D.  B.  Baily,  started  in  pur- 
suit of  the  marauders,  coming  up  with  them  at  sun- 
rise on  the  morning  of  the  28th,  within  ten  miles  of 
a  small  settlement  on  the  Platte  called  Latham.  The 
Indians  discovered  their  pursuers,  hastily  mounted 
and  began  circling  around  them  after  their  usual 
form  of  attack,  but  were  soon  driven  off,  retreating 
towards  the  Kiowa.  William  and  John  Brush  were 
brothers  of  Hon.  J.  L.  Brush  of  Greeley,  who  is  a 
member  of  the  present  State  Board  of  Agriculture. 

Development  of  Irrigation  in 
Colorado 

Agriculture  by  irrigation  is  comparatively  a  new 
feature  in  American  farming.  Unknown  to  the 
early  Plains  travelers,  they  all  united  in  declaring 
the  great  arid  region  west  of  the  Missouri  a  desert 
which  could  never  become  the  home  of  civilized 
man,  says  a  recent  writer.     But  among  those  who 


became  the  first  settlers  of  Colorado  there  were 
many  who  knew  of  irrigation  in  New  Mexico, 
where  for  over  200  years  it  had  been  practiced  by 
the  Spaniards,  and  in  California,  where  it  had  been 
adopted  from  Mexico,  and  in  Utah,  where  it  was 
being  successfully  inaugurated  by  the  Mormons. 
Thej'  believed  that  irrigated  crops  could  be  grown 
in  Colorado.  The  first  attempts  were  made  in  a 
small  way  along  Clear  creek,  the  Platte  river,  and 
Boulder  creek,  mostly  with  vegetable  gardens  and 
small  grains.  The  fact  was  established  that  the 
soil  was  fertile,  and  would  produce  with  abundance. 
The  first  ditches  were  small  affairs  and  constructed 
in  an  inexpensive  manner.  They  covered  the  first 
bottom  land  only.  They  were  built  and  owned  by 
companies  of  farmers,  each  one  of  which  had  land 
under  the  ditch.  At  this  time  the  idea  prevailed 
that  the  uplands  could  not  be  farmed.  Down  as 
late  as  1874,  probably,  a  majority  of  the  farmers  of 
the  state  held  this  notion,  and  as  a  consequence  the 
agriculture  of  the  state  was  confined  to  the  valleys 
proper.  But  it  was  at  last  discovered  that  the  soil 
of  the  bluffs  and  of  the  second  and  third  bottoms 
was  as  rich  and  productive  as  that  of  the  lower 
land,  and  farming  began  to  push  out  from  the  im- 
mediate vicinity  of  the  streams.  This  new  departure 
involved  a  change  in  the  manner  and  methods  of 
building  ditches;  and  at  this  point  the  big  canal 
corporations  came  into  existence.  It  was  the  con- 
struction of  these  great  irrigating  canals  in  Northern 
Colorado,  in  the  San  Luis  valley,  and  in  the  valleys 
of  the  Arkansas  and  Grand,  that  brought  thousands 
of  acres  of  land  under  water  and  opened  it  to  settle- 
ment and  cultivation.  This  gave  rise  to  the  sale  of 
what  are  known  as  water  rights.  It  was  argued 
that  the  construction  of  an  irrigating  ditch  increased 
the  value  of  all  land  to  which  it  could  furnish  water, 
and  hence  the  land  owner  was  in  equity  bound  to 
pay  at  least  a  portion  of  this  appreciation  to  the  canal 
company.  Many  of  these  irrigation  companies  have 
been  land  companies  as  well — buying  the  land  in 
large  tracts,  constructing  the  canal,  and  then  selling 
the  land  with  water  rights  attached.  It  is  un- 
doubtedly true  that  the  highest  interest  of  farmers  is 
in  the  ownership  of  their  own  canals ;  but  it  is  also  a 
fact  that  the  great  canals,  which  have  required  mil- 
lions of  capital  to  construct  would  never  have  been 
built  if  the  sale  of  water  rights  had  not  have  been 
permitted. 

According  to  the  State  Engineer's  reports,  there 
are,  in  round  numbers,  15,000  miles  of  main  irrigat- 
ing canals  in  the  state.  Their  cost  may  be  approxi- 
mately estimated  at  $50,000,000,  but  considering  the 

[69] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


value  of  their  franchise  in  accordance  with  the  de- 
crees of  the  Courts,  it  may  safely  be  asserted  that 
the  irrigating  canals  of  the  State  represent  at  least 
$100,000,000. 

The  ultimate  extension  of  the  irrigated  area  of 
the  state  eastward  toward  the  Kansas  and  Nebraska 
border  is  not  to  be  doubted.  With  the  development 
of  the  reservoir  system  to  its  extreme  limits,  their 
extension  will  be  hastened.  Another  fact  which 
assures  an  enlargement  of  the  irrigated  area  is  the 
return  of  water  by  seepage  to  the  streams.  Not- 
withstanding the  large  appropriations  made  from 
the  Platte  and  its  tributaries,  the  volume  of  water 
as  measured  150  miles  from  the  mountains  is  sub- 
stantially the  same  as  at  the  canon.  How  is  this 
accounted  for?  The  great  basin  of  the  Platte  has 
been  irrigated  for  forty-five  years.  It  has  become 
thoroughly  saturated  with  water — a  vast  under- 
ground reservoir,  as  it  were,  from  which  the  river  is 
fed.  Thus  the  water  which  is  used  on  the  farms, 
say  at  Fort  Collins,  finds  it  way  back  by  seepage 
into  the  river  and  is  used  again  at  Greeley.  This 
same  fact  will  also  be  demonstrated  in  the  San  Luis 
valley,  and  in  the  Arkansas  valley,  in  the  course  of 
time,  as  neither  of  these  sections  have  been  irrigated 
as  long  as  the  district  of  Northern  Colorado. 

One  other  consideration  is  worthy  of  note.  The 
relations  between  forestry  and  irrigation  are  very 
intimate.  Thirty-five  years  ago  the  streams  were 
at  a  flood  during  most  of  the  irrigating  months 
Now  they  run  low  in  July  at  least.  The  mountain 
forests  which  protected  the  snow  banks  have  been 
depleted;  these  snow  banks  which  formerly  melted 
gradually  and  did  not  disappear  until  August,  are 
now  gone  by  the  first  of  July.  Hence  the  more 
sudden  floods  in  the  springtime,  and  the  lower 
stages  of  water  in  July,  August  and  the  autumn 
months.  It  is  not  the  irrigation  ditches  of  Colorado 
that  causes  the  Platte  to  run  dry  in  Nebraska,  the 
Arkansas  in  Kansas,  and  the  Rio  Grande  in  Mexico ; 
it  is  rather  the  destruction  of  the  forests  which  de- 
prived the  sources  of  supply  of  their  natural  pro- 
tection, and  thus  permanently  changed  the  char- 
acter of  our  mountain  streams.  No  one  act  of  the 
federal  government  is  more  largely  in  the  interest 
of  agriculture  and  irrigation  than  the  establish- 
ment of  forest  reservations  about  the  sources  of  the 
great  rivers  which  flow  from  the  mountains  out  on 
to  the  Plains. 

While  it  is  probably  a  fact  that  in  most  sections 
of  the  state  the  water  limit  has  been  reached,  the 
following  consideration  will  permit  a  gradual,  but 
certain    enlargement    of    the    irrigated    area.      The 

[70] 


further  building  and  establishment  of  reservoirs,  by 
which  the  water  that  now  flows  to  waste  during  the 
flood  season  in  the  spring  and  early  summer  will  be 
stored  for  use  during  the  irrigating  season ;  the  con- 
tinued use  of  water  by  which  the  land  will  become 
thoroughly  saturated,  the  seepage  increased,  and 
less  water  will  be  required  to  grow  a  crop  than 
is  used  at  present;  and  the  more  careful  protection 
of  mountain  forests  about  the  headwaters  of  the 
streams,  by  which  a  larger  and  more  uniform  vol- 
ume of  water  will  be  assured  during  the  crop  grow- 
ing months. 

The  names  of  the  more  important  ditches  built 
and  in  operation  in  Larimer  county,  with  date  of 
priority,  quantity  of  water  appropriated,  dates  of  en- 
largements and  much  other  matter  pertaining  to 
irrigation  will  be  found  under  the  caption  "Irriga- 
tion and  Agriculture,"  immediately  following  these 
remarks : 

Irrigation  and  Agriculture 

The  agricultural  interests  of  Colorado,  which, 
until  about  thirty  years  ago,  were  overshadowed  by 
mining,  stock  growing  and  other  interests,  are  now 
commanding  the  attention  they  deserve.  Farming 
is  now  the  leading  industry  of  the  state  and  the 
value  of  the  products  of  the  farm  exceeds  those  of 
all  the  other  industries.    Agriculture  is  the  founda- 


MITCHELL  LAKE— ALTITUDE  8,000   FEET 

tion  upon  which  the  superstructure  of  all  other  in- 
terests rests.  It  forms  the  very  basis  of  society  and 
gives  it  that  stability  which  is  the  keystone  of  pros- 
perity. Without  agriculture  as  one  of  the  principal 
industries  of  the  commonwealth,  its  population 
must  necessarily  be  fluctuating  and  unstable.  In 
the  early  days  the  pioneers  of  Colorado  paid  but 
little,  if  any,  attention  to  this  pursuit.  Gold  was 
the  talisman  that  drew  them  across  the  plains  to  the 
Rocky  Mountains,   and  while   they  delved   among 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY,    COLORADO 


the  rocks  for  the  precious  metal,  the  fertile  soil  along 
the  water  courses  was  left  untouched  by  the  plow, 
the  hoe  and  the  spade.  Great  caravans  of  wagon 
trains  were  employed  to  transfer  to  them  from 
the  Missouri  river  the  necessary  amount  of  flour, 
bacon  and  produce  to  enable  them  to  prosecute  their 
search  for  the  hidden  treasures  of  the  mountains. 
The  difficulty  and  uncertainty  of  obtaining  supplies 
of  fruit  and  vegetables  by  this  method  and  the  high 
prices  they  commanded,  led  to  experiments  in  their 
production  here,  and  the  results  were  so  marvelous 
as  to  yield  and  quality  that  the  cultivation  of  the 
soil  was  extended,  laying  the  foundation  of  our 
present  agricultural  prosperity.  The  pioneer  far- 
mer had  much  to  contend  against.  The  climate 
was  an  untried  one,  and,  though  he  might  plant  in 
the  spring,  he  was  not  sure  of  a  harvest.  There  was 
so  little  moisture  in  the  air  that  irrigation  was  nec- 
essary, and  of  this  science  they  were  ignorant.  For 
several  years  in  the  early  70's  the  grasshoppers  har- 
vested their  crops  and  the  forces  of  Nature  seemed 
to  be  arrayed  against  them.  Now  the  climate  is  un- 
derstood, irrigation  is  practiced  intelligently,  and  the 
appliances  for  overcoming  the  ravages  of  the  pests 
that  prey  upon  the  farmer's  fields  and  orchards 
have  made  the  tillers  of  the  soil  masters  of  the  situa- 
tion. Owing  to  the  scarcity  of  water  only  a  limited 
area  of  land,  comparatively  speaking,  can  be  culti- 
vated, unless — as  now  seems  probable — the  system 
of  dry  land  farming  recently  inaugrated  in  the  arid 
regions  proves  a  success.  There  are  millions  of 
acres  of  fertile  lands  in  the  state  that  can  only  be 
utilized  for  the  production  of  crops  through  that 
system,  for  the  water  supply  is  insufficient  to  irri- 
gate them.  Experience  teaches  us,  however,  that  no 
matter  to  what  state  of  perfection  the  system  of  dry 
farming  may  be  brought,  there  will  now  and  then 
occur  crop  failures  on  the  unirrigated  lands,  there- 
fore irrigation  is  Colorado  agriculture's  main  de- 
pendence. The  writer  has  lived  in  the  Cache  la 
Poudre  valley  where  agriculture  is  almost  the 
sole  industry,  for  more  than  thirty  years,  and 
has  never  yet  in  all  that  period  of  time  known  a 
total  crop  failure.  There  have  been  years  in  the 
early  part  of  that  period,  before  the  irrigation  sys- 
tems of  the  valley  had  been  brought  to  their  present 
state  of  perfection,  when  the  water  supply — owing 
to  a  light  snowfall  in  the  mountains — ^was  insuffi- 
cient to  irrigate  the  lands  under  ditches  having 
junior  appropriations,  and,  as  a  consequence,  the 
crops  failed  to  m.ature  on  those  lands  for  the  want  of 
moisture.      But   this  has   never  occurred   on   lands 


under  ditches  having  early  appropriations  and  prior 
rights  to  the  use  of  the  water  flowing  in  the  stream. 

During  recent  years  the  irrigation  systems  of 
Larimer  county  have  been  brought  to  a  very  high 
state  of  perfection,  through  the  conservation  of 
flood  waters  in  storage  basins  and  through  more 
economical  methods  of  distribution,  so  that  at  the 
present  time  there  is  little  or  no  danger  of  a  crop 
failure  because  of  the  lack  of  moisture.  The  reser- 
voir capacity  of  the  county  is  now  about  ten 
billion  cubic  feet  and  contains  water  enough  to 
cover  230,000  acres  of  land  to  the  depth  of  one  foot, 
and  this  water  is  used  to  supplement  the  supply  flow- 
ing in  the  streams.  In  this  way,  practically  all  the 
land  in  the  county  that  can  be  watered  from  the 
ditches  is  given  the  moisture  needed  to  mature  the 
crop.  The  reservoirs  are  filled  during  the  fall, 
winter  and  early  spring  when  the  water  is  not 
needed  for  direct  irrigation,  and  from  the  flood 
waters  that  pour  down  the  streams  in  May  and 
June.  The  stored  water  is  held  until  needed  for 
irrigating  late  crops,  such  as  potatoes,  sugar  beets 
and  the  last  cutting  of  alfalfa. 

Larimer  .county  is  the  banner  agricultural 
county  in  the  state,  and  the  value  of  its  farm  prod- 
ucts is  exceeded  by  no  other  county  in  Colorado. 

Ditches  and  Irrigation 

The  first  settlers  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  valley 
early  realized  that  successful  agriculture  in  this 
region  depended  upon  the  application  of  water  to 
the  land  by  artificial  means.  Hence  we  see  them 
either  as  individuals  or  as  a  group  of  neighbors 
banded  together  and  uniting  their  forces  in  the  con- 
struction of  small  irrigating  ditches  with  a  water 
capacity  sufficient  to  irrigate  their  gardens,  grain 
fields  and  meadows.  Later  on,  as  the  country  be- 
came more  thickly  settled  and  the  demand  for  irri- 
gating facilities  greater,  companies  were  formed 
and  incorporated  to  build  larger  and  larger  ditches 
to  carry  water  out  on  to  the  table  lands,  which  were 
found  to  be  better  for  all  kinds  of  farming  purposes 
than  the  river  bottom  lands. 

The  first  irrigating  ditch  taking  its  water  from 
the  Cache  la  Poudre  river  was  built  in  1860  by 
G.  R.  Sanderson  and  used  by  him  to  water  a  farm 
now  owned  by  Mrs.  J.  H.  Yeager  of  Pleasant  val- 
ley. The  headgate  of  this  ditch  is  near  where  the 
bridge  crosses  the  river  above  Bellvue,  and  its  prior- 
ity is  dated  June  1st,  1860.  In  1863  Mr.  Sander- 
son sold  his  squatter's  right  to  the  land  he  occupied 
to  Joshua  H.  Yeager  and  the  ditch  was  afterwards 


[71] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


known  as  Yeager  ditch.  The  capacity  of  the  ditch 
was  established  in  1882  at  24.80  cubic  feet  of  water 
per  second  of  time  and  given  first  priority.  The 
ditch  was  enlarged  in  1863  after  Mr.  Yeager 
bought  the  land,  increasing  the  capacity  to  33.50 
feet  per  second  of  time.  It  may  also  be  stated  here 
that  the  Yeager  ditch  was  the  second  irrigating 
ditch  built  in  all  that  part  of  Colorado  lying 
north  of  the  Arkansas  river,  the  first  one  having 
been  taken  out  of  the  Platte  near  Denver  a  few 
weeks  before  the  date  of  the  building  of  the  San- 


CHAMBER'S    LAKE,    DAM    AND    RESERVOIR- 
ALTITUDE  9,000  FEET 

derson  or  Yeager  ditch.  The  following  table 
shows  the  date  of  construction,  date  of  appro- 
priation and  order  of  priority  of  all  the  irrigating 
ditches  and  canals  in  Larimer  County,  taking  water 
from  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river  and  its  tributaries: 

Order  of  Name  of  Dhch        No.  cu.  ft.  for    Total  Am't 

When  Built       Piioiity  or  Canal  each  priority  Appropriation 

June     1,1860.    1  Yeager    ditch 24.80 

June     1,  1863.   8  Yeager    ditch 8.70        33.50 

June     1,  1861.  2  Watrous,     Whedbee     & 

Secord     1.44- 

July     1,   1866.19  First   enlargement 4.33 

June     1,  1868.29  Second    enlargement 4.33         10.10 

June  10,  1861.   3  Dry  Creek  ditch 11.60 

Oct.  21,   1870.36  First   enlargement 14.42 

Sept.  15,  1873.64  Second    enlargement 12.13 

July  15,  1879.82  Third   enlargement 12.70         50.91 

Sept.     1,  1861.  4  Pleasant  Valley  &  Lake 

Canal    10.96 

June  10,  1864.11  First   enlargement 29.63 

July  19,   1872.49  Second    enlargement 16.50 

Aug.  18,  1879.83  Third  enlargement 80.83       137.92 

Mar.     1,1862.   5  Pioneer  Ditch  Company  12.72 

Sept.  15,  1864.12  First   enlargement 16.66        29.58 

June     1,  1864.10  Larimer  &  Weld  Canal.  3.00 

Apr.     1,  1867.21  First   enlargement 16.66 

Sept.  20,  1871.44  Second    enlargement 75.00 

Jan.   15,   1874.69  Third  enlargement 54.33 

Aug.     1,  1878.79  Fourth    enlargement 571.00       719.99 

Apr.  10,  1865.13  John  G.  Coy  ditch 31.63         31.63 

May     1,  1865.14  John  L.  Brown  ditch...  8.00          8.00 

Mar.    1,  1866.15  Boxelder  ditch 32.50 

[72] 


May  25, 
June  1 
Apr.  1 
Apr.  15 
Apr.  15, 

1 


Sept. 
Oct.  1, 
Mar.  1 
Mar.  10 
Mar.  15 
Mar.  20: 
May 
May 
June 
Apr. 
July  20, 
Sept. 
Sept, 
Oct.   10, 

July    2, 

Feb.  15 
Mar.  1 
May     1 


Mar.  10, 
Nov. 
Mar.  15, 
Apr. 
July 
Aug.  15 
Aug.  20, 
May  1 
May  15, 

Nov.     1 
Jan.  28 

Mar.  22, 


Mar. 
Oct. 
Apr. 
Apr.  15 


June  18 
Apr.  1 
Dec.  31 
Apr.  15, 


Sept.  1 
Jan.  19, 
Feb.     1 


Apr.  25 
Oct.     1 


1867.23  First   enlargement 8.33 

1868.30  Second    enlargement 11.93         52.76 

1866.16  Chamberlin    ditch 14.83         14.83 

1866.17  Taylor  &  Gill  ditch 18.48         18.48 

1867.22  Mason    &    Hottel    Mill 

race   93.06        93.06 

1867.24  W.  R.  Jones  ditch 15.52         15.52 

1867.25  Josh  Ames  ditch 35.92        35.92 

1868.26  Martin  Calloway  ditch.  15.22         15.22 

1868.27  Bristol  ditch  No.  1 15.22        15.22 

1868.28  Canon    Canal    ditch 8.60 

1873.55  First   enlargement 48.88         57.84 

1869.31  Cache  la  Poudre  Ir.  Co.  62.08 
1873.57  First   enlargement 20.42        82.50 

1869.32  Fort  Collins  Irri.  ditch.  1.66 

1871.38  First   enlargement 31.66 

1872.51  Second    enlargement 33.33 

1873.63  Third  enlargement 62.28       128.93 

1869.43  New  Mercer   ditch 4.16 

1871.46  First   enlargement 8.33 

1872.48  Second    enlargement....  15.00 

1880.80  Third  enlargement.  ..  136.00       163.49 

1870.34  Bristol   ditch    No.   2 14.83         14.83 

1871.39  William  Calloway  ditch 

No.   2 21.05        21.05 

1872.47  Chaffee  Irr.  ditch 22.38         22.38 

1872.53  Lake  Canal  Co.  ditch..  158.33       158.33 

1873  .  54  W.  S.  Taylor  ditch 28.60        28.60 

1873.56  Larimer  County  No.  2..  175.00       175.00 
1873.59  Aquilla  Morgan  ditch..  17.65         17.65 

J^"-"  H.   F.   Sturdevant 10.66         10.66 

lo73 . bz 

1874.65  Vandewark    ditch 10.16         10.16 

1874.66  Mitchell      Weymouth 

ditch   17.35         17.35 

1874.67  Boyd  &  Stafford  ditch..  15.30         15.30 

1875.70  Wm.      Calloway      ditch 

No.   2 14.16         14.16 

1875.71  Wetzler       Weymouth 

Mitchell   10.36 

1877.74  First   enlargement 3.00 

2.95 


9.56 
17.50 


15.43 
3.40 


16.27 


13.36 
2.95 
7.23 


1875.73  Kitchel  &  Ladd  ditch.. 

1878.76  Henry  Smith  ditch 7.23 

1878.77  Abram  Washburn  ditch 
No.    1 ;.... 

1878.78  Boxelder  Reservoir  ditch 

1878.80  Carter  Cotton  Mill  Race  127.30 

1879.85  First   enlargement 37.16 

1879.81  Abram   Washburn    ditch 
No.   2 

1859.84  Johnson,      McNey     & 
Chase  ditch 

1880.86  Mitchell- Weymouth    No. 
2    

1880.87  North   Poudre    Canal   & 
Res.    Co 315.00 

1881.89  Larimer   County  ditch..  469.80 

1881.90  Eagle  Nest  Ranch  ditch.        5.02 
These  ditches  were  all  proved  up  on  and  their 

priorities  established  by  the  court  in  1882-3.  Since 
then  one  large  and  several  small  ditches  have  tapped 
the  Cache  la  Poudre  river  and  its  tributaries.  In 
the  above  table  the  ditches  taken  out  of  the  river 
to  water  Weld  county  land  are  not  included.  At 
its  highest  stage  the  river  carries  about  7,000  cubic 
feet  of  water  per  second  and  about  150  cubic  feet 
at  its  lowest  stage.  The  lowest  stages  occur  in  the 
winter  time  when  the  water  is  not  needed  for  irriga- 


9.56 
17.50 

164.46 

15.43 

3.40 

16.27 

315.00 

469.80 

5.02 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


tion,  and  the  water  is  then  run  into  storage  reser- 
voirs. In  the  foregoing  table  it  will  be  seen  that  the 
figures  in  priority  show  the  order  in  which  the 
ditches  are  allowed  to  take  water  from  the  river. 
For  instance:  The  Yeager  ditch,  the  first  con- 
structed, can  take  practically  35  cubic  feet  of  water 
in  advance  of  all  other  ditches,  but  its  appropria- 
tion for  its  first  enlargement,  which  was  made  three 
years  later  and  numbered  "8"  cannot  be  used 
until  all  the  other  ditches  and  enlargements  made 
during  the  three  years'  interval  have  been  supplied. 
The  system  of  water  distribution  under  the  Consti- 
tution and  Laws  of  the  state  is  an  elaborate  one,  de- 
signed to  provide  for  the  beneficial  use  of  water  and 
to  protect  ditch  owners  and  the  users  of  water  for 
irrigation  in  their  respective  rights. 

The  Notorious  Slade 

In  Coutant's  History  of  Wyoming  reference  is 
made  to  Joseph  A.  Slade,  a  notorious  character,  who 
when  drunk,  for  about  two  years  terrorized  the  peo- 
ple along  the  Overland  route  from  Laporte  west- 
ward, in  the  following  terms : 

"Before  closing  the  events  of  1863,  it  will  be 
necessary  to  introduce  a  notorious  character  in  these 
pages.  It  was  a  recognized  fact  in  the  Overland 
days  that  all  the  officers  and  agents  connected  with 
the  Overland  stage  were  men  of  the  highest  char- 
acter with  a  single  exception,  and  this  individual 
was  Joseph  Slade.  He  was  division  superintendent, 
first  with  headquarters  at  Fort  Laramie,  and  later 
established  Virginia  Dale,  naming  the  place  in  honor 
of  his  wife.  The  incidents  connected  with  this  man 
Slade,  I  have  drawn  from  numerous  and  what  I 
consider  reliable  sources. 

"Hugo  Koch,  who  now  resides  in  Fremont 
county,  Wyoming,  tells  me  that  he  came  west  in  the 
fall  of  1858  and  that  at  Atchison  he  joined  a  bull 
train  which  was  in  charge  of  Slade,  who  the  follow- 
year  became  superintendent  of  a  division  of  the 
Overland  stage  company  in  Wyoming.  This,  then, 
is  the  introduction  of  that  notorious  character  into 
this  country.  Koch  describes  Slade  as  not  far  from 
thirty  years  old  at  that  time,  though  he  must  have 
been  older,  as  he  was  a  volunteer  in  the  Mexican 
war.  He  was  rather  under  the  medium  size,  dark 
complexion,  firm  set  features  and  determined  look. 
Slade  was  accompanied  by  his  wife,  who  was  rather 
good  looking  and  about  the  same  age  as  her  husband ; 
weight  about  160  pounds.  Mrs.  Slade  was  not  alto- 
gether a  lovely  character,  often  interfering  in  her 
husband's  business,  and  many  of  the  difficulties  he 


had  with  people  originated  with  her.  I  have  on  the 
same  authority  something  of  Slade's  early  life.  He 
was  born  in  Southern  Illinois  and  at  the  age  of 
thirteen  displayed  an  ungovernable  temper  and 
killed  a  man  by  striking  him  with  a  stone.  This 
man  had  interfered  with  some  boys  with  whom 
young  Slade  was  playing.  The  father  of  the  lad 
succeeded  in  getting  him  out  of  the  country  and 
sending  him  to  Texas,  where  he  grew  to  manhood 
and  was  married.  His  wife  always  possessed  great 
influence  over  him,  even  when  he  was  drunk.  Soon 
after  arriving  in  Wyoming  he  killed  a  man  named 
Andrew  Farrar.  The  two  were  drinking  together 
at  some  point  east  of  Green  river  and  got  into  an 
animated  conversation  during  which  something  was 
said  about  shooting.  Slade  remarking  that  no  man 
must  dare  him  to  shoot ;  Farrar,  who  was  fast  reach- 
ing a  maudlin  condition  remarked,  'I  dare  you  to 
shoot  me.'  Instantly  Slade  drew  his  revolver  and 
fired,  inflicting  a  dangerous  wound  on  the  person 
of  Farrar.  Horrified  at  what  he  had  done,  he  ex- 
pressed the  greatest  sorrow  to  the  wounded  man  and 
those  around  him  and  instantly  dispatched  a  messen- 
ger on  a  fast  horse  to  Fort  Bridger  to  secure  a  sur- 
geon. The  doctor  came  promptly,  but  his  services 
were  without  avail,  and  Farrar  died.  As  superin- 
tendent for  the  stage  company,  Slade  had  many  ad- 
ventures. He  conducted  business  in  a  manner  satis- 
factory to  the  stage  company  and  was  noted  for  his 
promptness  in  all  transactions  relating  to  the  passen- 
ger and  express  business.  I  find  many  old  timers 
who  were  acquainted  with  Slade  while  he  was  in 
charge  of  a  division  of  the  Overland  stage.  All 
agree  that  he  was  a  good  man  for  the  very  difficult 
positions  he  held,  but  that  he  was  a  dangerous  char- 
acter when  under  the  influence  of  liquor.  He  had 
trouble  with  many  people,  and  among  others  Jules 
Reni,  a  French  Canadian,  who  had  a  ranch  on  the 
South  Platte  where  Julesburg  is  located  at  the  pres- 
ent time,  this  town  being  named  after  this  Canad- 
ian. Reni  and  Slade  often  met  and  as  often  had 
misunderstandings.  Finally  they  had  a  quarrel  and 
Reni  fired  with  a  shotgun  thirteen  buckshot  into 
Slade's  person.  Reni  appeared  well  satisfied  and 
said  to  some  person  standing  near,  'When  he  is 
dead,  you  can  put  him  in  one  of  those  dry  goods 
boxes  and  bury  him.'  This  remark  was  heard  by 
Slade,  and  with  an  oath  he  replied,  'I  shall  live 
long  enough  to  wear  one  of  your  ears  on  my  watch 
guard.  You  needn't  trouble  yourself  about  my 
burial.'  While  the  shooting  excitement  was  still 
on,  the  Overland  stage  came  along,  and  it  chanced 
that   the   superintendent   of   the   road   was   aboard. 


[73] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


This  officer  ordered  the  arrest  of  the  would-be  mur- 
derer, and  those  present  took  him  into  custody  and 
proceeded  to  hang  him.  After  he  had  been  strangled 
until  he  was  black  in  the  face,  he  was  allowed  to  go, 
on  promising  to  leave  the  country,  which  he  did  for 
the  time.  Slade  suffered  from  his  wounds  for 
several  weeks  and  finally  made  a  journey  to  St. 
Louis  to  procure  surgical  assistance.  Seven  of  the 
buckshots  were  cut  out  and  the  balance  remained  in 
his  person  to  remind  him  of  vengeance.  When  he  re- 
turned to  the  road  he  took  occasion  to  send  word  to 
his  antagonist  that  he  was  determined  to  kill  him  on 
sight,  but  he  would  not  go  out  of  his  way  to  meet 
him.  Reni,  or  Jules  as  he  was  always  called,  re- 
ceived Slade's  message  and  at  once  returned  to  the 
division  of  the  Overland  where  Slade  was  employed 
and  on  his  way  told  several  persons  that  he  was  a 
going  to  kill  Slade.  The  latter  was  at  Pacific 
Springs  and  heard  of  the  threat,  and  he  at  once 
started  for  Julesburg.  When  he  arrived  at  Fort 
Laramie  he  visited  the  officers  and  laid  the  subject 
before  them  and  promised  to  take  their  advice.  The 
officers  understood  all  about  the  threats  of  both 
parties  and  frankly  told  Slade  that  in  their  judg- 
ment, Jules  would  kill  him  unless  prompt  measures 
were  taken,  and  that  he  would  have  no  peace  on  his 
division  unless  Jules  was  captured  and  killed.  Slade 
now  dispatched  forces  to  Bordeaux's  ranch,  where 
he  learned  Jules  had  spent  the  night  before.  The 
instructions  given  the  men  were  to  make  Jules  a 
prisoner,  securely  tie  him  and  await  arrival  of 
Slade,  who  was  to  follow  on  the  next  east  bound 
coach.  The  men  sent  after  Jules  did  not  find  him 
at  Bordeaux's,  so  they  went  on  to  Chansau's  ranch, 
the  next  station,  where  they  found  their  man.  They 
captured  him  without  opposition,  securely  bound 
his  hands  and  feet  and  placed  him  in  the  corral  in 
the  rear  of  the  station.  Slade  came  in  the  next 
coach,  as  agreed,  and  was  rejoiced  to  find  his  enemy 
a  captive.  He  went  at  once  to  the  corral  and  on  first 
sight  leveled  a  pistol  and  fired.  The  ball  struck 
Jules  in  the  mouth  but  did  not  kill  him ;  a  second 
shot  passed  through  his  head  and  produced  instant 
death.  Slade  then  returned  to  Fort  Laramie  and 
went  through  the  farce  of  giving  himself  up  to 
justice  and  demanded  an  investigation.  The  com- 
mander, of  course  discharged  him,  inasmuch  as  he 
had  advised  the  killing.  The  story  of  this  shooting 
has  been  told  in  many  ways?  I  have  met  persons 
who  claimed  that  Slade  ordered  Jules  placed  in  a 
standing  position  and  fired  repeated  shots,  and  be- 
tween each  went  to  the  station  and  invited  the 
crowd  to  take  a  drink,  and  just  before  firing  would 

[74] 


say,  'Now,  Jules,  I  am  going  to  hit  you  in  such  a 
place,'  and  being  an  expert  shot  he  kept  his  word 
every  time.  Finally  he  cut  off  Jules'  ears  and  put 
them  in  his  vest  pocket,  after  which  he  killed  him 
outright.  This  story  is  told  by  some  persons  now 
living  in  this  state,  but  I  am  satisfied  they  have  been 
misinformed  and  that  my  account  is  substantially 
correct.  The  stage  company  investigated  the  affair 
at  the  time  and  while  they  did  not  approve  of  Slade's 
conduct,  they  permitted  him  to  continue  in  his  posi- 
tion as  superintendent  of  his  division. 

"Slade's  whole  connection  with  the  Overland  was 
the  embodiment  of  ruffianism,  and  how  he  held  his 
position  with  the  stage  company  is  hard  to  con- 
jecture. It  may  be  that  his  reputation  was  some 
protection  to  the  company,  and  that  he  had  some 
ability  to  get  stages  through  on  time,  but  for  all  this 
he  was  a  dangerous  character  when  drunk,  and  in 
this  condition  he  was  very  often  found.  He  was 
guilty  of  many  acts  of  violence  toward  men  who 
were  much  better  in  every  way  than  himself.  After 
the  stages  were  removed  to  the  southern  line,  he  on 
one  occasion  entered  the  sutler's  store  at  Fort  Hal- 
lock  and  amused  himself  by  shooting  holes  through 
the  canned  goods  on  the  shelf.  At  another  time  he 
took  possession  of  the  sutler's  quarters  and  terror- 
ized everybody  connected  with  the  establishment. 
While  he  lived  at  Virginia  Dale,  his  official  duty 
frequently  called  him  to  Laporte.  On  one  of  these 
trips  he  'shot  up'  the  town.  He  entered  the  only 
store  in  the  place  with  his  companion,  smashed  the 
mirrors,  opened  the  faucets  of  the  vinegar  and 
molasses  barrels  to  see  what  sort  of  a  mixture  these 
two  articles  would  make  when  sugar  and  flour  were 
added.  When  Slade  sobered  up  he  came  around  and 
settled  for  the  damage  done,  paying  $800  for  his 
fun.  Charles  W.  Ramer  had  just  come  to  this 
country  then,  and,  from  a  safe  distance  at  the  rear 
of  the  store,  saw  the  whole  affair  through  a  window. 
That  was  his  introduction  to  life  in  the  far  west. 
For  Slade's  escapade  at  the  sutler's  store  at  Fort 
Halleck,  the  commander  had  him  arrested  and  re- 
fused a  release  unless  the  stage  company  would  first 
dismiss  him  from  their  employ.  This  was  done  and 
Slade  found  his  way  to  Montana,  where  he  had  many 
adventures,  and  finally  located  at  Virginia  City  in 
1864,  where  his  frequent  drunken  brawls  and  high- 
handed acts  of  violence  made  him  the  subject  of  in- 
vestigation by  the  vigilantes,  who  sentenced  him  to 
be  hanged.  When  informed  of  his  fate  by  the  exe- 
cutive officers  of  the  committee,  he  fell  on  his  knees 
and  begged  for  his  life.  When  he  saw  that  it  was 
useless  to  implore,  he  exclaimed.  My  God  1    My  God ! 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


Must  I  die?'  A  rope  was  thrown  over  the  cross 
beam  of  the  gateway  of  the  corral  and  Slade  was 
placed  upon  a  dry  goods  box,  the  rope  drawn  tight 
and  the  box  pushed  from  under  him,  and  all  was 
over.  Mrs.  Slade  had  been  sent  for,  but  arrived 
too  late  to  see  her  husband  alive.  She  threw  her- 
self upon  the  dead  body,  closing  the  inanimate  form 
in  her  arms,  and  gave  vent  to  heart  rending  cries, 
followed  by  bitter  curses  upon  those  who  hanged  her 
husband.  Finally,  turning  to  those  about  her,  she 
exclaimed  in  agony  of  grief,  'Why,  oh,  why  did 
not  some  of  you,  the  friend  of  Slade,  shoot  him 
down  and  not  suffer  him  to  die  on  the  scaffold?  I 
would  have  done  it  had  I  been  here.  He  should 
never  have  died  by  the  rope  of  the  hangman.  No 
dog's  death  should  have  come  to  such  a  man.  ' 

The  late  William  C.  Stover,  who  was  in  Virginia 
City  at  the  time,  witnessed  the  execution  of  Slade. 
Like  most  of  his  class,  who  held  human  life  cheap, 
Slade  was  a  coward  at  heart,  as  his  conduct  at  the 
time  of  his  death  proved. 

Slade's  Dare-Devil  Deeds 

Elsewhere  in  this  volume  is  told  the  story  of  the 
desperado  Slade,  who  served  for  a  time  as  division 
superintendent  of  the  Overland  stage,  with  head- 
quarters at  Virginia  Dale.  The  incidents  here  re- 
lated were  recounted  by  well-known  citizens  of 
Larimer  county,  who  were  personally  cognizant  of 
them  and,  in  one  instance,  a  victim  of  Slade's 
drunken  fury,  which  give  the  stories  a  local  coloring. 

Frank  G.  Bartholf,  who  was  an  early  settler  in 
the  Big  Thompson  valley  and  a  county  commis- 
sioner in  the  late  80's,  gives  the  following  account 
of  his  first  meeting  with  Slade:  "I  received  my 
introduction  to  Slade  over  on  the  Little  Thompson 
at  the  stage  station  in  the  fall  of  1862.  Slade  was 
coming  down  over  the  line  from  his  station  at  Vir- 
ginia Dale,  and  at  Laporte  he  got  drunk.  Between 
Laporte  and  Big  Thompson  station  he  began  firing 
down  through  the  top  of  the  coach  and  the  four 
passengers  inside  rolled  out  on  the  prairie.  Slade 
drove  into  the  Big  Thompson  station  at  Mariana's 
on  the  dead  run,  and,  going  inside,  ordered  the 
agent,  a  man  named  Boutwell,  to  make  him  a  cock- 
tail. A  loaded  shotgun  stood  in  the  corner.  Slade 
picked  it  up  and  cocking  both  barrels  covered  Bout- 
well  with  it  and  ordered  the  drink  mixed  in  a  cer- 
tain manner.  Hardly  able  to  hold  anything,  his 
hand  shook  so,  Boutwell  did  as  directed.  When  he 
had  completed  the  mixture,  Slade  ordered  him  to 
come  from  behind  the  counter  and  place  the  glass  on 


the  muzzle  end  of  the  gun,  which  he  did,  the  two 
barrels  of  the  gun  staring  him  in  the  face  all  the 
way. 

"After  pouring  the  decoction  down  his  throat, 
Slade  mounted  the  stage  and  ran  the  horses  over  to 
the  Little  Thompson  station  where  one  of  them 
laid  down  completely  exhausted.  I  was  keeping  the 
station  for  my  brother-in-law,  who  had  gone  up  into 
the  hills  to  bring  down  his  wife.  As  the  stage 
drove  up  I  went  out  to  unhitch  the  horses.  The 
driver  made  some  insulting  remark  to  me  and  I  an- 
swered him  pretty  short.  Biff.  Something  struck 
me  across  the  right  eye.  I  turned  quickly  and 
looked  straight  into  the  muzzle  of  two  revolvers.  I 
had  never  seen  Slade  before  but  I  realized  at  once 
that  we  were  introduced.  After  I  went  into  the 
stable  he  walked  over  to  where  a  couple  of  young 
fellows  were  camped  and  threatened  to  shoot  one  of 
their  horses  and  did  kill  their  dog  that  was  quietly 
lying  under  the  wagon.  Then  he  kicked  their  coffee 
pot  over,  put  out  their  fire  and  went  off.  All  this 
time  the  two  fellows  with  their  guns  in  hand  stood 
and  watched  him.  He  had  terrorized  them  and 
they  dared  not  lift  a  finger.  Slade  afterwards  wrote 
me  a  letter  of  apology,  saying  he  thought  I  was  the 
agent  and  that  he  did  not  allow  any  of  his  agents  to 
'sass  him.' 

"That  same  year  Slade  had  a  good  deal  of  trouble 
with  his  drivers,  who  were,  for  the  most  part,  wild 
reckless  characters,  who  got  drunk  at  every  oppor- 
tunity and  endangered  the  lives  of  passengers  by 
their  abandoned  driving.  On  one  occasion,  after  a 
drunken  driver  had  had  a  runaway  and  smashed  up 
the  coach  and  injured  some  of  the  passengers,  he  sent 
word  to  the  agent  at  Laporte,  who  kept  a  grocery 
store,  not  to  sell  liquor  to  any  of  the  drivers  on  his 
division.  The  agent  sent  back  word  that  he  would 
sell  to  whom  he  pleased,  that  Slade  need  not  think 
because  he  had  killed  Jules,  the  agent  was  afraid  of 
him.  Two  nights  later  when  the  stage  drove  up  to 
the  Laporte  station  Slade  and  three  of  his  men 
walked  into  the  store  and  began  to  shoot  at  the 
bottles  on  the  shelves.  Then  they  caught  the  agent, 
tied  him  with  rope,  spilled  all  the  flour  on  the  floor 
and  opened  all  the  faucets  to  the  barrels  of  liquor 
and  molasses  and  allowed  their  contents  to  mix 
with  the  flour.  Then  they  went  out  of  doors  and 
taking  runs,  slid  through  the  mixture  on  the  floor. 
When  they  tired  of  their  fun,  Slade  turned  to  the 
agent  and  said:  'Now,  when  I  tell  you  not  to  sell 
liquor  to  my  men,  I  mean  it.'  Slade  was  always 
cold-blooded  and  always  took  the  advantage.  His 
wife  would  fight  at  the  drop  of  the  hat  and  was 


[75] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


grittier  than  he  was  by  long  odds.  Had  she  gotten 
to  Virginia  City  before  he  was  hung,  there  would 
have  been  a  fight  from  the  word  go." 

First  Wedding  in  Larimer  County 

Weddings  were  not  of  common  occurrence  in 
pioneer  days.  Indeed,  they  were  few  and  scattering 
for  the  first  two  or  three  years  after  the  white  set- 
tlers began  to  locate  along  the  streams.  This  was 
largely  due  to  necessity  rather  than  choice.  There 
were  more  bachelors  than  maids.  As  a  matter  of 
fact  there  were  no  maids  at  all,  unless  we  except  the 
copper-colored  belles  of  the  aborigines,  whom  a  few 
of  the  first  settlers,  making  a  virtue  of  necessity,  took 
to  wife.  The  ceremonies  accompanying  these  alli- 
ances were  simple  and  very  brief,  consisting  mainly 
of  a  tender  by  the  groom  of  a  pony,  a  blanket  or  a 
little  coin  of  the  realm  to  the  reputed  father  of  the 
dusky  bride-to-be  in  exchange  for  her.  If  the  tender 
was  accepted,  the  expectant  groom  took  his  willing 
or  unwilling  bride  to  his  cabin  and  set  up  a  family 
altar  without  the  formality  of  marriage  vows  or  the 
incense  of  flowers. 

On  New  Year's  day,  1862,  there  occurred,  how- 
every,  a  regular  wedding.  It  was  the  first  to  take 
place  in  the  county  and  the  ceremony  was  performed 
by  F.  W.  Sherwood,  who  tied  the  marital  knot  as  a 
representative  of  his  brother.  Judge  Jesse  M.  Sher- 
wood, who  was  sub-Indian  agent  for  the  Cheyennes 
and  Arapahoes  and  spent  much  of  his  time  in  Den- 
ver, looking  after  his  charges.  Just  before  Christ- 
mas, 1861,  a  son  of  Louis  Cyr,  a  husky  young  fel- 
low, called  at  the  Sherwood  ranch  and  inquired  for 
the  judge,  who  was  absent.  Cyr  called  twice  after 
that  during  the  week  and,  on  the  first  day  of  Janu- 
ary, made  his  third  appearance  and  the  judge  was 
still  absent.  F.  W.  Sherwood,  noticing  the  disap- 
pointed look  the  young  fellow  wore  when  told  that 
the  judge  was  not  at  home,  asked  if  there  was  any- 
thing he  could  do.  Young  Cyr  hesitated,  but  finally 
said  he  wanted  to  get  married  and  wanted  the  judge 
to  perform  the  ceremony.  "If  that  is  all  you  want," 
said  F.  W.,  "I  can  help  you  out.  I  can  perform  the 
ceremony  as  well  as  my  brother."  This  pleased  the 
young  man,  who  said  the  wedding  had  been  put  off 
a  week  already  and  he  didn't  want  it  delayed  any 
longer.  The  young  fellow  was  honest  and  frankly 
told  Mr.  Sherwood  he  had  no  money.  "Oh,  that's 
all  right,"  Mr.  Sherwood  replied.  "I  never  charge 
anything  for  marrying  people." 

Hardly  were  they  in  their  saddles  ready  to  start 
for  the  home  of  the  bride,  than  the  young  man  dis- 

[76] 


covered  that  Sherwood  had  no  bible  with  him  and 
called  his  attention  to  that  fact.  Sherwood  replied 
that  they  didn't  need  it  and  that  the  bible  played  no 
part  in  his  marriage  service.  Cyr,  however,  refused 
to  be  married  without  one.  Sherwood  dismounted, 
went  into  his  house  and  brought  out  a  large  volume 
of  Shakespeare's  works,  the  sight  of  which  satisfied 
the  expectant  groom.  On  arriving  at  the  home  of 
the  bride-to-be  a  new  difficulty  presented  itself. 
The  young  lady  had  disappeared  and,  of  course,  the 
wedding  couldn't  take  place  without  her.  She  was 
the  daughter  of  Suis  Lewis  and  his  Indian  wife, 
wild  and  timid  as  a  fawn.  In  extreme  bashfulness 
she  had  hidden  under  a  pile  of  blankets.  She  was 
soon  discovered  and  on  being  brought  from  her  hid- 
ing place,  stood  up  with  the  young  man  and  was 
married  by  the  most  intricate  and  involved  method 
that  frontier  wits  could  devise.  The  service  was  an 
hour  in  length,  and  was  witnessed  by  two  gamblers 
named  Mcintosh  and  Rice. 

After  the  ceremony  Mr .  Lewis,  father  of  the 
bride,  insisted  upon  a  marriage  settlement,  which 
he  proposed  in  the  following  manner:  "You  make 
paper  that  if  my  gal  behave  and  boy  get  drunk  and 
raise  the  devil,  my  gal  get  all  his  horses.  If  my  gal 
do  wrong  by  Lewis  he  tell  her  go  'hell.'  "  The 
"settlement"  was  drawn  up  and  signed  and  that 
ended  the  ceremonies  of  the  first  wedding  in  Lari- 
mer county. 

It  is  presumed  that  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Cyr  lived 
happily  together,  as  they  do  not  figure  in  the  records 
of  the  divorce  court. 

First  Term  of  the  District  Court 

The  first  general  term  of  the  district  court  held 
in  and  for  Larimer  county,  opened  on  the  20th  of 
October,  1868,  in  a  hall  on  the  second  floor  of  the 
Grout  building  that  stood  at  the  corner  of  Jefferson 
and  Linden  streets,  where  Frank  P.  Stover's  drug 
store  now  stands.  This  building  was  erected  in 
1865  by  Mason  &  Allen  for  use  as  a  sutler's  store. 
It  contained  a  large  store  room,  facing  the  north,  on 
the  ground,  back  of  which  were  a  warehouse  and 
living  rooms.  On  the  second  floor,  reached  by 
an  outside  stairway,  there  was  one  large  room  and 
two  smaller  ones.  This  was  the  only  hall  in  the 
place  until  1873  and  was  used  for  many  purposes, 
church,  Sunday  school,  theatre  and  court  room. 
This  old  historic  structure  was  razed  to  the  ground 
in  the  spring  of  1882.  Although  the  county  had 
been  organized  since  1864,  no  term  of  the  district 
court  had  been  held  in  the  county  until  October 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


1868.  The  officers  of  the  court  at  this  time  were 
William  R.  Gorsline  of  Central  City,  judge  of  the 
Second  Judicial  district  of  the  Territory  of  Colo- 
rado. 

C.  C.  Post  of  Georgetown,  district  attorney. 

J.  C.  Matthews  of  Fort  Collins,  deputy  clerk. 
(The  name  of  the  clerk  at  this  time  does  not  appear 
in  the  record.) 

H.  B.  Ch'ubbuck  of  Big  Thompson,  sheriff. 

The  names  of  the  grand  jurors  summoned  for 
the  term  were:  H.  B.  Blevins,  George  Brigham, 
John  G.  Coy,  A.  J.  Ames,  Fountaine  Peterson, 
Neal  Boulware,  George  E.  Buss,  James  S.  Arthur, 
G.  R.  Strauss,  Thomas  Sprague,  Jesse  M.  Sher- 
wood, Edwin  C.  Smith,  J.  M.  Smith,  H.  Samuels, 
Frank  Gard,  Judson  Warren,  G.  L.  Luce  and  Ben- 
jamin Claymore.  J.  M.  Smith  was  appointed  fore- 
man of  the  jury  by  the  court.  Ranger  Jones, 
Thomas  Sprague  and  George  Van  Dyke  failed  to 
appear  at  the  opening  of  the  court  to  serve  as  grand 
jurors,  and  the  judge  ordered  an  attachment  issued 
for  their  bodies  and  placed  in  the  hands  of  the  sher- 
iff. The  defaulting  jurors  were  brought  into  court 
the  following  day,  and  after  purging  themselves  of 
contempt,  were  directed  to  take  seats  with  their 
comrades. 

The  petit  jurors  drawn  for  the  term  were :  John 
Palmer,  Enoch  Cornell,  Fred  Wallace,  N.  H.  Mel- 
drum,  C.  C.  Hawley,  W.  N.  Payton,  Rock  Bush, 
F.  W.  Sherwood,  Paul  Tharp,  A.  R.  Chaffee,  H. 
Mannis,  N.  P.  Cooper,  Arthur  Ames,  John  Baxter, 
John  Hahn  and  W.  C.  Stover.  Attachments  were 
issued  returnable  October  21st,  for  Thomas  Mc- 
Bride,  also  for  the  bodies  of  Joseph  Musgrove  and 
J.  M.  Eaglin,  returnable  at  the  succeeding  term  of 
court,  all  having  failed  to  appear  when  summoned 
to  serve  as  jurors. 

The  grand  jury  disposed  of  all  the  business 
brought  before  it,  reported  to  the  court  October 
21st,  and  was  discharged  from  further  service  dur- 
ing the  term. 

The  cases  docketed  for  hearing  at  this  term  of 
court,   follow : 

The  People  vs.  Samuel  Dion,  keeping  gambling 
house.     Continued  for  the  term. 

The  People  vs.  Peter  Decony,  keeping  gambling 
house.     Continued  for  the  term. 

The  People  vs.  Thomas  McBride,  contempt  of 
court  in  failing  to  appear  when  summoned  to  serve 
as  petit  juror.     Dismissed. 

Charles  Pitts  vs.  H.  Forbes;  appeal  from  judg- 
ment of  justice  court.    Appeal  dismissed. 


James  Maddux  vs.  Thomas  Edward;  appeal 
from  justice  court.  Remanded  to  Justice  of  the 
Peace  J.  W.  Smith  of  the  Big  Thompson  for  new 
trial. 

The  People  vs.  Antonia  Madeno;  assault  with 
intent  to  kill.  Continued  for  the  term.  Adam 
Blackhurst  and  Sarah  Blackhurst  entered  recog- 
nizance to  appear  and  testify  in  the  case  at  the  next 
term. 

The  People  vs.  Phillip  Lariviere.  Bond  for 
appearance  declared  forfeited  and  district  attorney 
directed  to  begin  suit  to  recover  the  penalty  named 
in  the  bond. 

Rufus  Fitzhugh  vs.  F.  W.  Sherwood ;  appeal 
from  justice  court.     Continued  for  the  term. 

John  R.  Brown  vs.  O.  P.  Bassett;  appeal.  Con- 
tinued. 

Mason  &  Co.  vs.  Edward  Marshall.     Continued. 

Rufus  Fitzhugh  vs.  A.  R.  Chaffee.    Dismissed. 

James  W.  Hanna  vs.  F.  W.  Sherwood ;  replevin. 

After  being  in  session  three  days,  the  court  ad- 
journed for  the  term. 

Of  the  four  criminal  cases  docketed  for  this  term 
of  the  court,  two  were  for  keeping  gambling  houses, 
one  for  assault  with  intent  to  kill  and  one  for 
adultery,  neither  of  which  was  tried.  It  will  thus 
be  seen  that  the  law  abiding  people  of  Larimer 
county,  moved  early  in  an  attempt  to  break  up 
public  gambling.  At  the  succeeding  term  of  court 
which  opened  October  19th,  1869,  Samuel  Dion  and 
Peter  Decony  were  convicted  of  keeping  gambling 
houses  and  fined  $100  each  and  costs  of  suit. 

The  second  term  of  the  district  court  opened 
October  19th,  1869,  in  the  Grout  building.  The 
officers  present  were : 

W.  R.  Gorsline,  judge. 

C.  C.  Post,  district  attorney. 

J.  C.  Matthews,  deputy  clerk. 

H.  B.  Chubbuck,  sheriff. 

The  grand  jurors  summoned  for  the  term  were: 
Revilo  Loveland,  Joseph  Prendergast,  John  Davis, 
Zack  Thomason,  C.  W.  Howell,  J.  B.  Arthur,  A. 
K.  Yount,  William  Samuels,  James  Milner,  David 
Notman,  N.  H.  Meldrum,  Joseph  Musgrove,  B.  T. 
Whedbee,  J.  M.  Smith,  Sr.,  J.  M.  Sherwood,  A.  A. 
Howard,  Thomas  Johnson,  Thomas  R.  McBride. 
Joseph  Mason,  who  had  been  summoned,  was  ex- 
cused from  service  on  account  of  being  postmaster  at 
Fort  Collins.  Thomas  Gill  failed  to  appear  and  an 
attachment  was  issued  for  him. 

The  petit  jurors  summoned  were  John  B.  Pro- 
vost, T.  L.  Moore,  J.  H.  Yeager,  John  R.  Brown, 
Peter  Anderson,  C.  C.  Hawley,  Sherman  Smith,  R. 


[77] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


B.  Wygal,  James  Carwile,  James  Eaglin,  J.  N. 
Hallowell,  Frank  Prager,  John  Parish,  Reed  Berry, 
George  Litle,  Guy  H.  Mannville,  W.  B.  Osborn, 
Rock  Bush,  Austin  Mason,  William  Rivers,  John 
Theobald,  A.  A.  Davis  and  E.  N.  Garbutt.  Mr. 
Garbutt  failing  to  answ^er  to  his  name  wrhen  called, 
an  attachment  was  issued  for  him.  Mathews  S. 
Taylor  was  admitted  a  member  of  the  bar  and 
allowed  to  practice  in  the  courts  of  the  Territory. 
Mr.  Taylor  was  a  brother  of  W.  S-.  Taylor  who 
kept  the  Overland  stage  station  at  Virginia  Dale 
and  later  Park  and  Laporte  stations,  and  became  a 
prominent  member  of  the  Colorado  bar.  He  went 
to  Leadville  in  1877,  and  represented  Lake  county 
in  the  Second  General  assembly  of  Colorado.  He 
was  a  brilliant  lavtT^er,  but  died  at  Leadville  in 
1884,  while  still  comparatively  a  young  man. 

No  important  cases  came  on  for  trial  at  the  second 
term  of  court,  and  but  little  of  moment  was  done 
save  to  continue  most  of  the  cases  that  had  been 
docketed.  Indeed,  the  dockets  for  the  succeeding 
terms  of  court  down  to  1874  and  1875  fail  to  show 
that  any  cases  of  general  or  special  interest  were 
tried  by  the  district  court.  The  civil  cases  were 
mostly  appeals  from  the  judgments  of  either  the 
county  or  justice  courts  and  the  criminal  dockets 
being  made  up  of  misdemeanor  cases,  such  as  gamb- 
ling, keeping  gambling  houses  or  assaults.  At  the 
term  of  the  district  court  held  in  July,  1874,  the 
district  attorney  filed  two  informations,  one  against 
James  Nugent,  known  as  "Mountain  Jim"  of 
Estes  Park  for  an  assault  on  June  10th,  1874,  with 
a  deadly  weapon,  with  intent  to  kill  his  neighbor, 
Griffith  J.  Evans,  and  the  other  against  GrifRth  J. 
Evans  for  shooting  Mountain  Jim  June  19th,  1874, 
with  intent  to  take  his  life.  These  cases  excited  a 
great  deal  of  interest  because  of  the  prominence  of 
the  persons  implicated  and  also  because  of  the  cir- 
cumstances which  led  up  to  the  attempt  of  these 
two  men  to  take  each  other's  lives.  A  detailed  ac- 
count of  the  troubles  between  Evans  and  "Mount- 
ain Jim"  will  be  given  in  another  chapter;  also  of 
the  trial  of  John  Phillips  in  July,  1875,  charged 
with  murder  of  Clarence  Chubbuck. 

An  Early  Day  Tragedy 

On  the  19th  of  June,  1874,  James  Nugent,  better 
known  as  "Mountain  Jim,"  a  famous  hunter  and 
trapper  who  lived  in  a  cabin  on  the  edge  of  Estes 
park,  was  shot  and  mortally  wounded,  the  bullet 
lodging  in  his  head.  Nugent  accused  his  neighbor, 
Griffith  J.  Evans,  between  whom  and  himself  there 


had  been  bad  blood  for  more  than  a  year,  of  firing 
the  shot  that  later  caused  his  death.  Evans  was 
arrested,  brought  to  Fort  Collins,  given  a  prelimin- 
ary hearing  and  bound  over  for  trial  in  the  district 
court.  On  the  opening  day  of  the  1874  term  of  the 
district  court,  which  convened  on  the  15th  day  of 
July,  1874,  in  the  Grout  building,  District  Attorney 
Byron  L.  Carr  filed  an  information  with  the  clerk, 
charging  Evans  with  assault  with  a  deardly  weapon 
with  intent  to  kill  Nugent.  The  case  was  not  called 
for  trial  until  July  14th,  1875,  when  District  At- 
torney G.  G.  White,  who  succeeded  Mr.  Carr, 
entered  a  nolle  prosequi  in  the  case  against  Evans 
and  the  accused  was  discharged  from  custody.  It 
developed  between  the  time  of  filing  the  information 
and  the  opening  of  the  July  term  of  court  in  1875, 
so  it  was  alleged,  that  Evans  was  not  guilty  of  the 
charge;  that  the  shooting  was  done  by  a  young 
Englishman,  who  had  been  sent  out  from  England 
in  December,  1873,  to  look  after  Lord  Dunraven's 
interests  in  Estes  Park,  and  who  had  left  the  coun- 
try. Nugent  was  brought  down  from  Estes  Park 
and  lodged  at  the  City  hotel,  then  and  for  several 
years  afterward,  kept  by  Thomas  L.  Moore,  where 
the  wounded  man  received  medical  treatment.  Nu- 
gent lingered  between  life  and  death  until  some  time 
in  September,  1874,  when  he  died  and  was  buried  in 
Mountain  Home  cemetery  where  his  bones  yet  re- 
main. Before  he  died,  Nugent  made  a  will  which 
he  directed  should  not  be  opened  until  after  his 
death,  and  in  it  he  bequeathed  his  favorite  riding 
horse  to  Mr.  and  Mrs.  T.  L.  Moore's  infant 
daughter,  Carrie,  now  Mrs.  T.  K.  Seaton  of  Delta, 
and  twenty  head  of  cattle  on  the  range  in  Estes  park 
to  Frank  D.  Morrison,  a  barber,  who  shaved  the 
wounded  man  until  he  died.  It  took  all  of  "Mount- 
ain Jim's"  property,  however,  to  pay  his  debts  and 
funeral  expenses  so  that  the  devisees  got  nothing. 

Mountain  Jim  was  known  all  over  the  Territory 
as  an  expert  hunter  and  trapper,  who  had  many  ex- 
cellent qualities  of  heart  and  mind  as  well  as  numer- 
ous bad  ones.  He  often  drank  to  excess  and  when  in 
his  cups  was  a  quarrelsome  and  a  difficult  man  to 
get  along  with,  but  in  his  sober  periods,  he  was  a 
well  informed,  genial  and  companionable  gentleman. 
His  neighbor  in  Estes  park,  Griffith  J.  Evans,  was  a 
stock  man  and  either  owned  or  managed  for  others, 
a  large  herd  of  cattle  in  the  park.  He  lived  in  a 
large  log  cabin  and  had  several  outlying  cottages 
near  Clear  lake  where,  in  the  summer  season,  he  en- 
tertained visitors,  tourists  and  hunters  from  whom 
and  his  herds  of  cattle,  he  derived  a  goodly  income. 
There  are  several  theories  as  to  what  caused  the 


[78] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


trouble  between  "Mountain  Jim"  and  Evans,  but 
the  most  accepted  theory  is  that  "Mountain  Jim" 
became  enamored  of  Evans'  seventeen-year-old 
daughter  and  that  the  young  lady's  parents  disap- 
proved of  his  attentions  to  her.  At  any  rate  a  cold- 
ness grew  up  between  the  two  men,  and  "Mountain 
Jim"  had  been  heard  in  his  cups  to  threaten  to  do 
Evans  up.  After  the  arrival  of  the  young  English- 
man, whose  name  was  Haigh,  to  take  the  manage- 
ment of  Lord  Dunraven's  interests  in  the  park,  the 
young  lady  became  much  attached  to  him.  They 
were  often  seen  riding  together  which  stirred 
"Mountain  Jim's"  anger  toward  Evans  to  the  very 
depths.  On  the  10th  of  June,  1874,  only  nine  days 
before  he  received  his  death  wound,  he  fired  from 
ambush  and  tried  to  kill  Evans,  but  fortunately  his 
shot  missed  its  mark.  On  the  day  of  the  fatal  shoot- 
ing, June  19th,  "Mountain  Jim"  appeared  at  Evans' 
cabin  in  a  frightful  mood,  threatening  to  kill  Evans 
and  Haigh  if  they  dared  to  come  out  in  the  open. 
At  this  Haigh,  it  is  alleged,  stepped  to  the  door  and 
fired  the  .shot  that  a  few  weeks  later  ended  the  life 
of  one  of  the  most  notorious  characters  that  ever 
dwelt  in  the  Rocky  Mountains. 

In  the  fall  of  1873,  an  English  lady  named  Isa- 
bella L.  Bird,  spent  several  weeks  with  the  Evans' 
family,  becoming  very  well  acquainted  with  both 
Evans  and  "Mountain  Jim."  The  latter  guided 
Miss  Bird,  Piatt  Rogers  and  S.  S.  Downer,  two 
young  men  tourists  to  the  summit  of  Long's  peak 
and  she  is  believed  to  be  the  first  woman  to  ever 
ascend  to  the  top  of  this  grim  old  guardian  of  the 
Continental  Divide.  In  a  series  of  letters  written 
to  her  sister  in  London,  Miss  Bird  graphically  de- 
scribes Estes  Park,  the  ascent  of  Long's  peak,  and  her 
various  experiences  while  a  visitor  in  the  park;  giv- 
ing pen  pictures  of  Nugent  and  Evans  and  her  im- 
pression of  the  characters  of  the  two  men.  She  also 
wrote  interestingly  of  other  trips  in  Colorado  made 
on  horseback  and  her  letters  were  published  in  book 
form  in  1879-80.  The  book  is  entitled  "Life  in 
the  Rocky  Mountains."  Her  descriptions  of  Evans 
and  Nugent  and  comments  on  their  individual  char- 
acteristics make  very  interesting  reading.  Describ- 
ing her  first  introduction  to  "Mountain  Jim"  she 
says: 

"A  very  pretty  mare,  hobbled,  was  feeding,  a 
collie  dog  barked  at  us,  and  among  the  scrub  not 
far  from  the  track,  there  was  a  rude  black  log  cabin, 
as  rough  as  it  could  be,  to  be  a  shelter  at  all,  with 
smoke  coming  out  of  the  roof  and  window.  We 
diverged  towards  it ;  it  mattered  not  that  it  was  the 
home,   or   rather   den   of   a  notorious   'ruffian'   and 


'desperado.'  One  of  my  companions  had  disap- 
peared hours  before,  the  remaining  one  was  a  town- 
bred  youth.  I  longed  to  speak  to  some  one  who 
loved  the  mountains.  I  called  the  hut  a  den, — it 
looked  like  the  den  of  a  wild  beast.  The  big  dog 
lay  outside  it  in  a  threatening  attitude  and  growled. 
The  mud  roof  was  covered  with  lynx,  beaver  and 
other  furs  laid  out  to  dry,  beaver  paws  were  pinned 
out  on  the  logs,  a  part  of  the  carcass  of  a  deer  hung 
at  one  end  of  the  cabin,  a  skinned  beaver  lay  in  front 
of  a  heap  of  peltry  just  within  the  door,  and  antlers 
of  deer,  old  horseshoes,  and  offal  of  many  animals 
lay  about  the  den.  Roused  by  the  growling  of  the 
dog,  his  owner  came  out,  a  broad,  thickset  man, 
about  the  middle  height,  with  a  cap  on  his  head,  and 
wearing  a  grey  hunting  suit  much  the  worse  for 
wear  (almost  falling  to  pieces  in  fact)  a  digger's 
scarf  knotted  around  his  waist,  a  knife  in  his  belt, 
and  a  'bosom  friend,'  a  revolver,  sticking  out  of  the 
breast  pocket  of  his  coat;  his  feet,  which  were  very 
small,  were  bare,  excepting  for  some  dilapidated 
moccasins  made  of  horse  hide.  The  marvel  w^as 
how  his  clothes  hung  together,  and  on  him.  The 
scarf  round  his  waist  must  have  had  something  to  do 
with  it.  His  face  was  remarkable.  He  is  a  man 
about  forty-five,  and  must  have  been  strikingly' 
handsome.  He  has  large  grey  blue  eyes,  deeply  set, 
with  well-marked  eyebrows,  a  handsome  aquiline 
nose,  and  a  very  handsome  mouth.  His  face  was 
smooth  shaven  except  for  a  dense  mustache  and  im- 
perial. Tawny  hair,  in  thin  incorrect  curls  fell 
from  under  his  hunter's  cap  and  over  his  collar. 
One  eye  was  entirely  gone,  and  the  loss  made  one 
side  of  his  face  repulsive,  while  the  other  side  might 
have  been  modeled  in  marble.  'Desperado'  was 
written  in  large  letters  all  over  him.  I  almost  re- 
pented having  sought  his  acquaintance.  His  first 
impulse  was  to  swear  at  the  dog,  but  on  seeing  a 
lady  he  contented  himself  with  kicking  him,  and 
coming  up  to  me  he  raised  his  cap,  showing  as  he  did 
so  a  magnificiently  formed  brow  and  head,  and  in  a 
cultured  tone  of  voice  asked  if  there  was  anything 
he  could  do  for  me.  I  asked  for  some  water,  and  he 
brought  some  in  a  battered  tin,  gracefully  apolo- 
gizing for  not  having  anything  more  presentable. 
We  entered  into  conversation  and  as  he  spoke  I  for- 
got both  his  reputation  and  his  appearance,  for  his 
manner  was  that  of  a  chivalrous  gentleman,  his  ac- 
cent refined  and  his  language  easy  and  elegant.  I 
inquired  about  some  beavers'  paws  which  were  dry- 
ing, and  in  a  moment  they  hung  on  the  horn  of  my 
saddle.  Apropos  of  the  wild  animals  of  this  region, 
he  told  me  that  the  loss  of  his  eye  was  owing  to  a 

[79] 


HISTORY    OF    LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


recent  encounter  with  a  grizzly  bear,  which,  after 
giving  him  a  death  hug,  tearing  him  all  over,  break- 
ing his  arm  and  scratching  out  his  eye,  had  left  him 
for  dead.  As  we  rode  away,  for  the  sun  was  sink- 
ing, he  said  courteously.  'You  are  not  an  Ameri- 
can. I  know  from  your  voice  that  you  are  a  country- 
woman of  mine.  I  hope  you  will  allow  me  the 
pleasure  of  calling  on  you.'  This  man,  known 
through  the  Territories  and  beyond  them  as  'Rocky 
Mountain  Jim'  or  more  briefly,  as  'Mountain  Jim,' 
is  one  of  the  famous  scouts  of  the  plains,  and  is  the 
original  of  some  daring  portraits  in  fiction  concern- 
ing Indian  frontier  warfare.  So  far  as  I  have  at 
present  heard,  he  is  a  man  for  whom  there  is  now  no 
room,  for  the  time  for  blows  and  blood  in  this  part 
of  Colorado  is  now  past,  and  the  fame  of  many 
daring  exploits  is  sullied  by  crimes  which  are  not 
easily  forgiven  here.  He  now  has  a  'squatter's 
claim,'  but  makes  his  living  as  a  trapper,  and  is  a 
complete  child  of  the  mountains.  Of  his  genius  and 
chivalry  to  worrien  there  does  not  appear  to  be  any 
doubt;  but  he  is  a  desperate  character,  and  is  sub- 
ject to  'ugly  fits,'  when  people  think  it  best  to 
avoid  him.  It  is  here  regarded  as  an  evil  that  he  has 
located  himself  at  the  mouth  of  the  only  entrance  to 
the  park,  for  he  is  dangerous  with  his  pistols,  and  it 
would  be  safer  if  he  were  not  here.  His  besetting 
sin  is  indicated  in  the  verdict  pronounced  on  him  by 
my  host:  'When  he  is  sober,  Jim's  a  perfect  gen- 
tleman ;  but  when  he's  had  liquor,  he  is  the  most 
awful  ruffian  in  Colorado.' 

Refering  further  to  "Mountain  Jim"  in  a  foot 
note.  Miss  Bird  says :  "Of  this  unhappy  man,  who 
was  shot  nine  months  later  within  two  miles  of  his 
cabin,  I  write  in  subsequent  letters  only  as  he  ap- 
peared to  me.  His  life,  without  doubt,  was  deeply 
stained  with  crimes  and  vices,  and  his  reputation  for 
ruffianism  was  a  deserved  one.  But  in  my  inter- 
course with  him  I  saw  more  of  his  noble  instincts 
than  of  the  darker  parts  of  his  character,  which, 
unfortunately  for  himself  and  others,  showed  itself 
in  its  worst  colors  and  at  the  time  of  his  tragic  end. 
It  was  not  until  I  left  Colorado,  not  indeed  until 
months  after  his  death,  that  I  heard  the  worst  points 
of  his  character." 

Of  GrifE  Evans,  Miss  Bird  speaks  as  follows  in 
her  charming  book:  "As  I  intend  to  make  Estes 
park  my  headquarters  until  the  winter  sets  in,  I 
must  make  you  acquainted  with  my  surroundings 
and  mode  of  living.  The  'Queen  Anne  Mansion'  is 
represented  by  a  log  cabin  made  of  big  hewn  logs. 
The  chinks  should  be  filled  in  with  mud  and  lime, 
but  these  are  wanting.  The  roof  is  formed  of  barked 

[80] 


young  spruce,  then  a  layer  of  hay,  and  an  outer 
covering  of  mud,  all  nearly  flat.  The  floors  are 
roughly  boarded  The  'living  room'  is  about  sixteen 
feet  square,  and  has  a  rough  stone  chimney  in  which 
pine  logs  are  always.  At  one  end  there  is  a  door 
into  a  small  bedroom,  and  at  the  other  a  door  into  a 
small  eating  room,  at  the  table  of  which  we  eat  in 
relays.  This  opens  into  a  very  small  kitchen  with 
a  great  American  cooking  stove  and  there  are  two 
'bed-closets'  besides.  Although  rude,  it  is  comfort- 
able, except  for  the  draughts.  The  fine  snow 
drives  in  through  the  chinks  and  covers  the  floors, 
but  sweeping  it  out  at  intervals  is  both  fun  and 
exercise.  There  are  heaps  of  rubbish  places  out- 
side. Near  it,  on  the  slope  under  the  pine,  is  a 
pretty  two-room  cabin,  and  beyond  that,  near  the 
lake  is  my  cabin,  a  very  rough  one.  My  door  opens 
into  a  little  room  with  a  stove  and  chimney,  and 
that  again  into  a  small  room  with  a  hay  bed,  a  chair 
with  a  tin  basin  on  it,  a  shelf  and  some  pegs.  A 
small  window  looks  on  the  lake,  and  the  glories  of 
the  sunrise  which  I  see  from  it  are  indescribable. 
Neither  of  my  doors  has  a  lock,  and,  to  say  the 
truth,  neither  will  shut,  as  the  wood  has  swelled. 
Below  the  house  on  the  stream  which  issues  from 
the  lake,  there  is  a  beautiful  log  dairy,  with  a  water 
wheel  outside,  used  for  churning.  Besides  this, 
there  are  a  corral,  a  shed  for  the  wagon,  a  room  for 
the  hired  man,  and  shelters  for  horses  and  weakly 
calves.  All  these  things  are  necessaries  at  this 
height. 

"The  ranchmen  are  two  Welshmen,  Evans  and 
Edwards,  each  with  a  wife  and  family.  The  men 
are  as  diverse  as  they  can  be.  'Griff,'  as  Evans  is 
called,  is  short  and  small,  and  is  hospitable,  careless, 
reckless,  jolly,  social,  convivial,  peppery,  good- 
natured,  "nobody's  enemy  but  his  own.'  He  had  the 
wit  and  taste  to  find  out  Estes  Park,  where  people 
have  found  him  out,  and  have  induced  him  to  give 
them  food  and  lodging,  and  add  cabin  to  cabin  to 
take  them  in.  He  is  a  splendid  shot,  an  expert  and 
successful  hunter,  a  bold  mountaineer,  a  good  rider, 
a  capital  cook,  and  a  generally  good  fellow.  His 
cheery  laugh  rings  through  the  cabin  from  the  early 
morning,  and  is  contagious,  and  when  the  rafters 
ring  at  night  with  such  songs  as  'D'ye  Ken  John 
Peel'?  'Old  Lang  Syne',  and  'John  Brown',  what 
would  the  chorus  be  without  poor  Griff's  voice? 
What  would  Estes  Park  be  without  him,  indeed? 
When  he  went  to  Denver  lately  we  missed  him  as 
we  would  have  missed  the  sunshine,  and  perhaps 
more.  In  the  early  morning,  when  Long's  Peak  is 
red,    and    the    grass    crackles    with    hoar    frost,    he 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY,    COLORADO 


arouses  me  with  a  cherry  thump  on  my  door.  'We 
are  going  cattle-hunting,  will  you  come?  Or  will 
you  help  to  drive  in  the  cattle?  You  can  take  your 
pick  of  the  horses.  I  want  another  hand.'  Free- 
hearted, lavish,  popular,  poor  'Griff'  loves  liquor 
too  well  for  his  prosperity,  and  is  always  tormented 
by  debts.  He  makes  lots  of  money,  but  puts  it  in 
'a  bag  with  holes.'  He  has  fifty  horses  and  1,000 
head  of  cattle,  many  of  which  are  his  own,  all 
wintering  up  here,  and  makes  no  end  of  money  by 
taking  in  {)eople  at  eight  dollars  a  week,  yet  it  all 
goes  somehow.  He  has  an  industrious  wife,  a  girl 
of  seventeen,  and  four  ybunger  children,  all  musical, 
but  the  wife  has  to  work  like  a  slave ;  and  though  he 
is  a  kind  husband,  her  lot  as  compared  with  her 
lord's,  is  like  that  of  the  squaw.  Edwards,  his  part- 
ner, is  his  exact  opposite,  tall,  thin,  and  condemna- 
tory-looking, keen,  industrious,  saving,  grave,  a  tee- 
totaler, grieved  for  all  reasons  at  Evans'  follies  and 
rather  grudging;  as  naturally  unpopular  as  Evans 
is  popular;  a  'decent  man',  who,  with  his  indus- 
trious wife,  will  certainly  make  money  as  fast  as 
as  Evans  loses  his. 

"The  regular  household  living  and  eating  to- 
gether at  this  time  consists  of  a  very  intelligent  and 
high-minded  American  couple.  The  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Dewey,  people  whose  character,  culture  and  society 
I  should  value  anywhere;  a  young  Englishman, 
brother  of  a  celebrated  African  traveler,  who,  be- 
cause he  rides  on  an  English  saddle,  and  clings  to 
some  other  insular  peculiarities,  is  called  'The  Earl' ; 
a  miner  prospecting  for  silver;  a  young  man,  the 
type  of  intelligent,  practical  'Young  American,' 
whose  health  showed  consumptive  tendencies  when 
he  was  in  business,  and  who  is  living  a  hunter's 
life  here;  a  grown-up  niece  of  Evans;  and  a  melan- 
choly-looking hired  man.  A  mile  off  there  is  an  in- 
dustrious married  settler,  and  four  miles  off,  in  the 
gulch  leading  to  the  park  'Mountain  Jim,'  other- 
wise Mr.  Nugent,  is  posted.  His  business  as  a 
trapper  takes  him  daily  up  to  the  beaver  dams  in 
Black  canon  to  look  after  his  traps,  and  he  generally 
spends  some  time  in  or  about  our  cabin,  not,  I  can 
see,  to  Evans'  satisfaction,  for,  in  truth,  this  blue 
hollow,  lying  solitary  at  the  foot  of  Long's  Peak, 
is  a  miniature  world  of  great  interest,  in  which  love, 
jealousy,  hatred,  envy,  pride,  unselfishness,  greed, 
selfishness  and  self-sacrifice  can  be  studied  hourly, 
and  there  is  always  the  unpleasantly  exciting  risk 
of  an  open  quarrel  with  the  neighboring  desperado, 
whose  'I'd  shoot  you'  has  more  than  once  been  heard 
in  the  cabin." 


I  have  reproduced,  verbatim,  this  much  of  Miss 
Bird's  charming  book  to  show  the  characters  she 
came  in  contact  with,  their  modes  of  living  and  the 
conditions  that  existed  in  Estes  Park  in  the  closing 
weeks  of  1873  when  she  was  a  guest  of  the  Evans' 
family,  and  also  that  the  reader  may  get  a  glimpse  of 
the  causes  that  led  up  to  the  fatal  quarrel  a  few 
months'  later,  which  resulted  in  "Mountain  Jim's" 
death.  The  very  fact  that  no  very  strenuous 
effort  was  put  forth  by  the  authorities  to  ap- 
prehend and  bring  to  justice  the  young  English- 
man, who  is  said  to  have  sent  a  bullet  into 
"Mountain  Jim's"  head,  lends  strength  to  the 
belief  that  the  community  at  large  and  the  officers 
of  the  law,  were  only  too  well  satisfied  to  get  rid 
of  a  troublesome  character  and  terror  of  the  region, 
to  give  much  thought  or  attention  to  the  manner  or 
means  of  his  removal,  or  to  exert  themselves  in 
capturing  the  man  responsible  for  it. 

In  another  part  of  this  book  will  be  found  Miss 
Bird's  beautiful  pen  picture  of  Estes  Park  as  she 
saw  it  through  the  eyes  of  an  enthusiast;  and  also 
a  description  of  her  ascent  of  Long's  Peak,  with 
"Mountain  Jim"  as  guide. 

Killing  of  Clarence  Chubbuck 

Hardly  had  the  excitement  over  the  Estes  Park 
tragedy  subsided,  in  which  "Mountain  Jim's"  life 
came  to  an  inglorious  but  deserved  end,  when  an- 
other took  place,  this  time  in  the  Big  Thompson  val- 
ley, and  another  victim  of  the  ever  ready  gun  came 
to  an  untimely  death.  The  principals  in  this  trag- 
edy were  John  Phillips,  a  stockman,  and  Clarence 
Chubbuck,  foreman  of  a  cattle  round-up  then  in 
progress.  The  cattle  had  been  gathered  in  a  bunch 
on  ground  now  occupied  by  Lake  Loveland,  a  short 
distance  north  of  the  present  thriving  city  of  Love- 
land,  and  owners  were  engaged  in  cutting  out  or 
separating  their  animals  from  the  general  herd. 
This  was  on  Saturday,  June  5th,  1875.  A  dispute 
arose  between  Phillips  and  Chubbuck  over  an 
unbranded  steer,  which  Phillips  said  belonged  to 
him.  Chubbuck  contested  the  claim  and  there  were 
angry  words  between  the  two  men.  Finally  Chub- 
buck became  exasperated  and  in  the  heat  of  passion 
assaulted  Phillips  with  a  blacksnake  whip,  which 
he  always  carried  on  the  round-up,  and  drove  the  lat- 
ter out  of  the  camp,  forbidding  him  at  the  same  time 
to  return.  On  leaving  camp  Phillips  declared  that 
he  would  come  back  the  next  day  and  defend  his 
rights  to  recover  what  he  claimed  to  be  his  property. 
Aside  from  the  whip  that  Chubbuck  carried,  neither 

[81] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY. 


COLORADO 


man  was  armed  at  the  time  of  the  encounter  on 
Saturday.  The  following  day,  Sunday,  June  6th, 
while  the  cowboys  were  still  separating  the  herd, 
Phillips  returned  to  the  camp,  armed  with  a 
revolver,  and  demanded  his  steer,  which  brought  on 
another  quarrel.  Chubbuck  ordered  him  off  the 
ground  but  Phillips  stood  his  ground  and  refused 
to  leave.  At  this  Chubbuck  leapt  from  his  horse 
and  started  for  Phillips,  who  was  a  cripple,  flourish- 
ing his  whip  in  a  threatening  manner.  Because  of 
his  infirmity,  Phillips  was  unable  to  keep  out  of  his 
antagonists  way  .and  fearing  humiliation  and  bodily 
injury  at  the  hands  of  the  foe,  he  drew  his  revolver 
and  fired  at  Chubbuck,  inflicting  a  mortal  wound. 
The  wounded  man  was  carried  to  his  home,  where 
he  died  on  Monday  evening  declaring  just  before 
death  intervened  that  he  alone  was  to  blanie  for  the 
shooting. 

Immediately  after  firing  the  fatal  shot  Phillips 
mounted  his  horse  and  rode  to  Fort  Collins  and 
gave  himself  up  to  Sheriff  Joseph  Mason.  He  at 
once  retained  L.  R.  Rhodes,  still  an  eminent  mem- 
ber of  the  Larimer  County  bar,  to  defend  him, 
and  instructed  Mr.  Rhodes  to  employ  Thomas  M. 
Patterson  and  Judge  James  B.  Belford  of  Denver, 
to  assist  in  the  defense.  The  killing  of  Chubbuck, 
who  was  a  popular  young  man  and  a  son  of  one  of 
the  pioneers  of  the  Big  Thompson  Valley  who  had 
been  county  superintendent  of  schools,  created  in- 
tense excitement  all  over  the  county  and  the  feeling 
against  Phillips  was  very  bitter.  There  were 
threats  of  lynching  and  Jio  doubt  they  would  have 
been  carried  into  efifect  if  the  people  of  the  Big 
Thompson  valley  had  succeeded  in  getting  Phillips 
in  their  possession.  On  the  day  following  Chub- 
buck's  death  a  warrant  was  sworn  out  and  placed 
in  the  hand  of  Constable  Charles  P.  Scott,  after- 
wards county  clerk  for  two  terms,  with  instructions 
to  arrest  Phillips  and  bring  him  before  a  justice  of 
the  peace  on  the  Big  Thompson.  In  the  meantime 
Sheriff  Mason  had  deputized  L.  R.  Rhodes  and 
Eph  Love  to  guard  his  prisoner,  and  they,  knowing 
what  the  feeling  was  over  on  the  Big  Thompson, 
declined  to  surrender  Phillips,  fearing  that  he  would 
be  strung  up  on  the  first  handy  cottonwood  if  he 
should  be  given  up  to  Constable  Scott  and  returned 
to  the  scene  of  the  tragedy.  Mr.  Scott  returned 
to  the  Big  Thompson  without  the  prisoner  and  a 
posse  comitatus  was  raised  to  take  Phillips  away 
from  his  guards  by  force.  The  posse  was  to  come 
to  Fort  Collins  in  the  night,  overpower  the  guards, 
sieze  Phillips  and  take  him  back  among  those  who 
were  clamoring  for  his  life,  but  word  of  their  in- 

[82] 


tentions  reached  the  guards,  through  a  friend,  in 
time  to  make  preparations  for  outwitting  the  posse. 
Phillips,  thoroughly  armed,  was  locked  in  Mr. 
Rhode's  office  in  the  old  Grout  building  and  in- 
structed to  shoot  the  first  man  that  attempted  to 
break  down  the  door.  The  posse  halted  about 
where  the  Agricultural  College  stands  and  sent 
three  spies  into  town  to  locate  the  man  they  sought, 
but  they  met  with  no  success,  and  the  posse  returned 
to  Big  Thompson  disappointed  and  not  a  little 
discomfitted. 

The  district  court  convened  that  year  on  the 
14th  of  July,  with  Judge  A.  W.  Stone  of  Denver  on 
the  bench.  The  other  officers  of  the  court  were: 
George  G.  White  of  Denver,  district  attorney; 
Joseph  Mason  of  Fort  Collins,  sheriff ;  Chase  With- 
row,  clerk,  by  A.  H.  Patterson,  deputy. 

The  grand  jury  was  sworn  and  charged  and  be- 
fore the  close  of  the  first  day's  session  returned  an 
indictment  charging  John  Phillips  with  the  murder 
of  Chubbuck  on  the  6th  of  June,  1875.  Because  of 
the  interest  taken  in  the  trial  of  Phillips,  court  was 
held  in  the  Methodist  church,  a  frame  structure 
which  stood  about  a  block  west  of  the  Colorado  & 
Southern  passenger  station,  as  it  afforded  more 
room  than  the  hall  in  the  Grout  building.  Phillips 
was  arraigned  on  the  day  the  indictment  was  found 
and  pleaded  'not  guilty'.  The  case  was  set  for  trial 
July  18th  and  when  the  day  for  the  hearing  ar- 
rived the  church  was  filled  with  court  officers, 
witnesses  and  spectators,  many  of  the  latter  coming 
from  long  distances,  as  this  was  the  first  murder 
case  tried  in  the  district  court  in  the  history  of  the 
county.  Phillips  was  prosecuted  by  the  district 
attorney,  assisted  by  Mayor  E.  L.  Smith  and 
Mitchell  Benedict  of  Denver,  and  ably  defended 
by  L.  R.  Rhodes  of  Fort  Collins,  assisted  by 
Thomas  M.  Patterson  and  Judge  James  B.  Belford 
of  Denver,  who  were  then  acknowledged  to  be  two 
of  the  ablest  attorneys  in  the  Territory.  Since  then 
Messrs.  Patterson  and  Belford  have  both  represent- 
ed Colorado  in  the  National  House  of  Representa- 
tives, and  Mr.  Patterson  has  served  one  term  in  the 
United  States  Senate. 

The  jury  impanelled  and  sworn  to  try  the  case 
was  composed  of  John  W.  Tharp,  Robert  Craig, 
Joseph  R.  Wills,  W.  S.  Vescelius,  Joseph  C.  Egbert, 
N.  W.  Platte,  James  Earnest,  J.  W.  Boyd,  Jack 
Dow,  Richard  Burke,  J.  W.  Smith  and  Albert  B. 
Tomlin,  all  residents  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  val- 
ley. Eph  Love  was  appointed  official  court  re- 
porter and  the  trial  proceeded,  occupying  several 
days  of  the  term.     The  case  went  to  the  jury  on 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


July  21st,  and  a  verdict  of  "not  guilty"  was  re- 
turned the  same  day.  The  dying  declaration  of 
Chubbuck  that  "he  alone  was  to  blame  for  the 
shooting"  which  was  testified  to  in  court,  had  great 
weight  with  the  jury  in  reaching  a  conclusion. 

Thus  ended  Larimer  county's  first  murder  trial. 
Realizing  that  it  would  be  unsafe  for  him  to  remain 
in  Larimer  county,  Phillips  immediately  disposed 
of  his  cattle  and  horses  and  went  to  the  southern 
part  of  the  Territory,  where  it  is  believed  he  died 
a  few  years  ago. 


John  C.  Ish  of  Fort  Collins,  takes  exceptions  to 
some  of  the  statements  made  in  the  foregoing  ac- 
count of  the  killing  of  Clarence  Chubbuck.  In  the 
first  place  he  says  that  he  and  not  Chubbuck,  was 
foreman  or  captain  of  the  cattle  round-up  that  year, 
and  that  he  saw  the  trouble  between  Chubbuck  and 
Phillips  the  first  day  and  heard  the  shooting  at  the 
time  of  the  tragedy  but  did  not  see  it  as  he  was  on 
the  opposite  side  of  the  cavayard,  superintending  the 
cutting  out  of  the  cattle.  Mr.  Ish  says  that  Phillips 
and  Chubbuck  had  some  hot  words  the  day  before 
the  shooting  at  Mariana's  lake,  but  he  positively 
denies  that  Chubbuck  struck  Phillips  with  a  black- 
snake  whip  or  anything  else.  Chubbuck  had  a  whip 
with  him,  as  did  others  engaged  in  the  round-up, 
but  did  not  use  it  on  Phillips.  He  was  close  by  the 
two  men,  heard  their  conversation  and  saw  all  of 
movements  and  knows  that  no  assault  was  made  on 
Phillips  that  day.  The  jwrangling  between  the  two 
men  interfered  with  the  work  of  the  round-up  and 
Mr.  Ish  finally  sent  Phillips  off  to  another  part  of 
the  field,  so  that  the  work  of  cutting  out  cattle 
could  proceed.  The  following  day  the  cattle  were 
rounded  up  where  Lake  Loveland  is  now  and 
Phillips  came  there  armed  and  demanded  a  cow 
that  Frank  Bartholf  claimed.  Mr.  Ish  knew  the 
cow  belonged  to  Phillips  and  sent  word  to  Bart- 
holf, who  was  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  cavayard, 
to  turn  the  cow  over  to  Phillips.  While  Bartholf 
and  Phillips  were  having  some  words  over  the 
ownership  of  the  cow,  Chubbuck  came  up  and 
joined  in  the  dispute.  The  quarrel  of  the  day  be- 
fore between  Phillips  and  Chubbuck  was  renewed 
and  Phillips  repeated  statements  which  he  said 
Chubbuck  had  made  concerning  him  the  day  before. 
Chubbuck  replied,  "that's  a  dammed  lie.  I  made 
no  such  statements".  At  this  Phillips  jumped  off 
his  horse,  drew  his  gun  and  taking  deliberate  aim, 
shot  Chubbuck  in  the  back  as  he  turned  and  fled  on 
seeing  the  gun.     Phillips  then  remounted  his  horse 


and  rode  off  on  a  dead  run.  Mr.  Ish  says  he  heard 
the  shooting  and,  putting  spurs  to  his  horse,  rode 
around  the  cavayard  to  where  Chubbuck  laid  on 
the  ground,  suffering  from  the  fatal  bullet  wound. 
The  young  man  was  taken  to  his  home  where  he 
died  the  following  day.  Mr.  Ish  says  he  shall  al- 
ways think  and  believe  that  it  was  a  case  of  pre- 
meditated murder,  that  Phillips  came  there  that 
day  with  the  intention  of  killing  Chubbuck.,  He 
says  that  Phillips  was  a  busherwhacker  in  Missouri, 
during  the  civil  war,  and  that  he  boasted  of  having 
once,  while  concealed  in  the  underbrush,  shot  and 
killed  a  Union  man  who  was  walking  along  the 
road  with  a  baby  in  his  arms,  killing  the  baby  also 
with  the  same  shot.  Mr.  Ish  also  says  he  under- 
stood that  after  his  acquittal  by  a  jury  in  the  district 
court,  Phillips  went  north  and  was  shot  in  Dakota 
for  stealing  cattle. 

Pioneer  Incidents  and  Adventures. 
Story  of  Jim  Baker 

Old  Jim  Baker,  the  noted  Indian  fighter,  front- 
iersman, scout,  and  hunter,  whose  death  at  the  ad- 
vanced age  of  90  years  occurred  in  May,  1898,  was 
well  known  by  a  number  of  Larimer  county  people. 
In  1852,  nearly  60  years  ago,  he  and  William  T. 
Shortridge  of  Fort  Collins,  and  Maj.  John  Kerr  of 
Berthoud,  built  and  operated  a  ferry  at  the  Green 
river  crossing.  That  was  during  the  time  of  the 
great  rush  to  the  California  gold  fields  and  the 
ferry  made  money  for  its  owners  hand  over  fist.  G. 
R.  Strauss  of  Timnath  also  knew  Baker  well. 
Baker,  Strauss,  Bob  Lawrence  and  a  man  named 
Brown  hunted  during  the  winter  of  1860-1  in  the 
mountains  north  of  Livermore,  their  camp  being 
on  what  is  now  known  as  the  Halligan  ranch  on  the 
North  fork  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river.  They 
also  camped  for  a  time  where  the  late  Harry  Gil- 
pin-Brown's residence  now  stands  on  the  Lone  Pine. 
Deer  and  mountain  sheep  were  plentiful  in  those 
days,  each  of  the  hunters  killing  two  wagon  loads 
of  game  which  they  marketed  in  Denver.  All  of 
these  actors  in  early  day  events  have  gone  to  their 
reward.  Lawrence  and  Brown  died  many  years 
ago.  Maj.  Kerr  in  1895;  Jim  Baker  in  1898;  Bob 
Strauss  in  1904  and  W.  T.  Shortridge  in  1905. 

A  Fierce  Indian  Battle 

The  ridge  north  of  the  present  headgates  of  the 
Larimer  County  Canal  was  the  scene  in  the  fall  of 
1858,  of  a  fircely  contested  battle  between  a  band 


[83] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


of  Arapahoe  Indians,  under  the  leadership  of  Chief 
Friday,  and  a  large  hunting  party  of  Pawnees.  The 
story  of  this  fight  was  told  to  H.  C.  Peterson  by 
Chief  Friday  himself. 

The  Pawnees  were  out  on  their  annual  buffalo 
hunt  in  territory  claimed  by  the  Arapahoes,  who 
were  bitter  and  remorseless  enemies  of  the  tres- 
passers. The  Pawnees  were  discovered  by  the  Arap- 
ahoes who  gave  chase  and  drove  the  former  to  the 
top  of  the  ridge  where  a  firce  three  day's  battle  was 
fought.  The  Arapahoes  occupied  the  gulch  north 
of  the  ridge  and  greatly  outnumbered  the  Pawnees, 
but  the  latter  had  the  advantage  of  location  and 
fought  with  desperation  knowing,  that  if  they  fell 
into  the  hands  of  their  old-time,  remorseless  enemies 
they  would  be  tortured,  every  last  one  of  them.  The 
battle  raged  hotly  and  fiercely  for  three  full  days, 
neither  side  giving  away.  Finally,  taking  advantage 
of  a  terrific  mountain  storm  which  occurred  on  the 
night  of  the  third  day's  fight,  the  Pawnees  slipped 
quietly  off  the  ridge  and  made  their  escape.  The 
story  told  by  Chief  Friday  is  borne  out  by  the  find- 
ing of  the  skeleton  of  an  Indian  by  William  Shipp 
on  the  battle  field,  in  December  1884.  The  skeleton 
was  found  in  a  sort  of  cave  in  the  bluffs  and  had 
evidently  lain  there  for  several  years  as  there  was 
nothing  left  but  the  naked  bones  that  afforded  any 
clue  to  its  history.  As  it  was  the  custom  of  the 
Indians  to  carry  away  from  the  battlefield  all  their 
dead  so  their  enemies  would  not  know  the  extent 
of  their  losses,  it  is  probable  that  the  warrior  whose 
bones  were  found,  having  been  wounded  in  the 
fight,  had  crawled  into  the  cave  and  died  there 
without  the  knowledge  of  his  companions.  At  any 
rate,  the  ridge,  along  whose  abrupt  side  the  Poudre 
Valley  canal  now  winds  its  way,  has  become  his- 
toric ground.  Chief  Friday  did  not  know  how  many 
of  the  Pawnees  were  made  to  bite  the  dust  in  the 
conflict,  but  said  the  Arapahoes  lost  a  good  many 
warriors,  owing  to  the  fact  the  Pawnees  were  able 
to  shoot  their  arrows  from  the  top  of  the  ridge 
down  among  the  besiegers  with  frightful  effect. 
That  is  believed  to  have  been  the  last  Indian  battle 
fought  in  Larimer  county. 

Greeley's  Ride  With  Hank  Monk 

Horace  Greeley  and  party  in  going  from  Denver 
in  1859  on  the  Overland  stage  to  California,  passed 
through  Larimer  county.  The  road  then  crossed 
the  Big  Thompson  at  Mariana's  place  and  hugging 
the  hogbacks,  crossed  the  Poudre  at  Laporte,  and 
thence  on  into  the  mountains  via  Virginia  Dale.  Mr. 

[84] 


Greeley  and  party  were  entertained  for  the  night  in 
Laporte  on  this  trip.  It  was  on  this  trip  that  Mr. 
Greeley  made  his  memorable  ride  over  the  Sierras 
with  Hank  Monk  as  driver.  At  Virginia  City, 
Nevada,  Mr.  Greeley  suggested  that  he  would  like 
to  get  over  the  road  a  little  faster,  as  he  had  a 
lecture  engagement  in  California.  "All  right", 
said  Hank,  as  he  gathered  up  the  rains  of  six  half 
wild  mustangs.  "Keep  your  seat,  Mr.  Greeley,  and 
I  will  get  you  through  in  time."  Crack  went  the 
whip,  the  mustangs  dashed  at  a  fearful  pace  up  hill 
and  down  along  precipices  frightful  to  look  at,  over 
rocks  that  kept  the  noted  passenger  pawing  frantic- 
ally between  the  seat  and  ceiling  of  the  coach.  Mr. 
Greeley  was  getting  more  than  he  bargained  for  and 
he  mildly  suggested  that  a  slower  pace  would  suit 
him  better,  as  a  half  an  hour,  more  or  less,  would  not 
make  much  difference.  But  Monk  was  in  for  his 
drive  and  his  joke,  and  replied  again  with  a  twinkle 
of  his  eye,  after  a  fresh  cut  at  his  mustangs,  "Just 
keep  your  seat,  Mr.  Greeley,  and  you  shall  be 
through  in  time."  Mr.  Greeley  kept  his  seat  as 
well  as  he  could  and  got  through  unharmed,  on 
time,  rewarding  Hank  Monk  with  a  new  suit  of 
clothes.  For  years  afterwards.  Hank  wore  a  watch 
with  his  reply  to  Mr.  Greeley  engraved  upon  it,  the 
present  of  some  other  passenger  whom  he  had 
driven  safely  over  his  perilous  route. 

Denver  McGaa 

In  January,  1897,  the  Denver  Republican  told 
the  following  story  about  Denver  McGaa,  the  first 
baby  born  in  Denver: 

"The  first  living  thing  that  was  born  in  Denver", 
said  Amos  Steck  yesterday,  "was  a  dog  and  that 
was  named  Denver.  The  next  was  Jack  McGaa's 
baby  boy,  and  he  was  named  Denver.  A  man 
named  Cromwell  was  here  then  keeping  a  place 
called  'The  Stage',  and  he  was  so  enthusiastic  over 
the  birth  of  this  baby  that  he  sold  a  fine  horse  for  the 
money  necessary  to  celebrate  the  event,  and  as  long 
as  the  price  lasted  everybody  had  an  opportunity  to 
drink  to  the  health  of  Jack  McGaa's  kid.  I  saw 
the  baby  when  it  was  a  little  scrawny  thing  about 
two  days  old,  and  the  last  time  I  saw  him  was  when, 
he  was  six  years  old  on  his  father's  ranch  near  Fort 
Collins,  a  short  time  before  Jack  died.  The  baby 
was  born  in  June,  1859,  and  is  now  a  big  man, 
standing  about  six  feet  two.  His  mother  was  a 
Sioux,  and,  consequently,  Denver  learned  the  Sioux 
dialect.  Five  or  six  years  ago  when  the  Northern 
Sioux  were  preparing  for  the  outbreak  at  the  Pine 


HISTORY    OF    LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


Ridge  agency,  Denver  McGaa  was  among  them. 
They  didn't  know  that  he  understood  their  language 
and,  consequently,  he  learned  all  of  their  plans, 
and  at  once  rode  away  to  the  nearest  military  post 
and  reported  the  situation  to  the  commanding  officer. 
The  result  was  that  the  Indians  were  not  given 
time  to  perfect  their  plans  and  the  contemplated 
outbreak  was  nipped  in  the  bud." 

Denver  McGaa  remained  a  resident  of  Fort 
Collins  until  1879,  when  he  went  north  to  join  the 
tribe  to  which  his  mother  belonged.  He  has  since 
visited  here  several  times  and  is  well  known  to 
many  of  the  early  settlers  of  the  valley. 

Two  Early  Day  Duels 

In  the  spring  of  1861,  said  the  Denver  Inter- 
Ocean  in  March  1882,  a  gay  and  festive  Frenchman, 
a  mule  shoer  by  profession,  and  the  late  Joseph 
Mason  of  Fort  Collins,  who  was  killed  in  1881  by 
the  kick  of  a  wicked  broncho,  woed  a  charming 
Indian  maiden,  the  belle  of  the  wigwam,  the  pink- 
eyed  Mary  Polzell.  They  quarreled.  There  was 
not  squaw  enough  for  two,  so  the  blacksmith  con- 
cluded that  one  or  the  other  had  to  die.  He  sent  a 
challenge  and  Mason  accepted.  The  hour  and  place 
was  fixed.  It  was  on  the  banks  of  the  Platte,  near 
where  the  Larimer  street  bridge  in  Denver  now 
crosses  the  stream.  A  thousand  people  gathered 
there  to  witness  the  scene  of  two  Frenchm.en  wallow- 
ing in  each  other's  gore.  It  was  a  fizzle.  The  black- 
smith's teeth  began  to  chatter  as  the  umpire  paced 
the  ground,  and  when  the  seconds  loaded  the  pistols 
his  knees  gave  way,  he  fell  to  the  ground  a  limp  and 
limpsy  lover. 

In  March  1860,  Dr.  Stone  of  Central  City 
challenged  Lew  Bliss,  who,  in  1878-9,  was  an  assist- 
ant under  T.  J.  Montgomery  in  the  Colorado  Cen- 
tral railroad  depot  in  Fort  Collins.  Bliss  being 
the  challenged  party,  had  choice  of  weapons,  and  he 
selected  shot  guns  loaded  with  slugs,  just  fitting 
the  barrel.  Stone  was  known  to  be  a  dead  shot  with 
the  pistols  and  Bliss  was  equally  expert  with  the 
shot-gun.  Bliss  was  unhurt,  but  Stone  received  a 
terrible  wound  in  the  thigh  and  groin,  from  which 
he  died  after  lingering  several  months  and  wasting 
to  a  mere  skeleton. 

Thought  Country  Almost  Worthless 

Learning  through  Judge  Neil  F.  Graham  of  Fort 
Collins,  that  Hon.  Eugene  F.  Ware,  former  Pension 
Commissioner  under  President  Harrison,  but  now  a 
prominent   attorney   of   Kansas   City,   Kansas,    had 


scouted  through  this  section  of  the  State  while  a 
member  of  the  7th  Iowa  Cavalry,  I  wrote  to  him 
for  such  facts  as  he  could  recall  touching  conditions 
in  the  Cache  la  Poudre  valley  when  he  was  here. 
I  will  note  in  this  connection  that  Mr.  Ware  and 
Mr.  Graham  are  warm  personal  friends  and  Mr. 
Graham  had  often  heard  Mr.  Ware  relate  his  ex- 
perience on  the  Plains  in  1864-5. 

Mr.  Ware's  reply  to  my  letter  soliciting  historical 
information  follows,  and  while  it  does  not  throw 
much  light  on  the  subject  in  hand,  it  does  give  his 
impressions  of  this  country  as  it  appeared  to  him  at 
that  time.    He  says : 

Kansas  City,  Kansas, 

April  5,   1910. 

"Your  kind  favor  is  at  hand.  I  was  glad  to  hear 
from  Mr.  Graham.  He  deserves  well  wherever  he 
goes. 

"The  date  which  you  set  is  an  error.  I  was  out  in 
that  country  scouting  for  Indians  in  1864  with  the 
7th  Iowa  cavalry.  We  were  up  at  Fort  Laramie 
and  north  of  it,  and  south  of  it.  At  Fort  Laramie 
was  Lieut.  Col.  Collins.  He  had  a  son,  Casper 
Collins,  who  was  killed  by  the  Indians.  Fort 
Collins  was  named  after  the  Colonel  and  Fort  Cas- 
per was  named  after  the  son.  The  town  of  Casper 
further  north,  is  the  survival  of  the  name.  We 
scouted  down  in  the  country,  of  which  you  speak, 
and  west  from  Julesburg  up  the  Lodge  Pole  to 
where  Cheyenne  now  is.  The  country  was  bleak 
and  arid  and  I  would  not  have  given  ten  cents  a 
square  mile  for  it.  There  was,  of  course  then  no 
city  of  Cheyenne  or  even  a  beginning  of  it.  The 
country  was  wholly  desolate  and  forlorn,  it  seems 
to  me,  although  in  the  spring  it  looked  a  little  better. 
A  great  change  has  come  over  the  country  as  it  does 
over  every  country  where  a  white  man  goes  and 
settles."  Yours  truly, 

E.  F.  Ware. 

Profits  of  Early  Day  Gardening 

That  those  who  tilled  the  soil  in  the  early  days  of 
the  Cache  la  Poudre  vailey  reaped  rich  rewards  for 
their  labors  is  illustrated  by  the  following  account 
of  G.  R.  Strauss'  experience  as  gardener,  as  told  the 
writer  by  himself: 

In  1864,  Mr.  Strauss  tilled  nine  acres  of  land 
facing  on  the  Howes  lane — then  the  route  of  the 
Overland  stage  company  from  the  Sherwood  place 
to  Laporte — nearly  opposite  Judge  A.  F.  Howes' 
house.     That  spring  he  invested,  his  last  dollar  at 

[85] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


Laporte  for  a  sack  of  flour  (flour  was  then  only  $12 
per  sack)  purchased  seed  on  credit  and  planted  a 
market  garden.  His  success  that  year  may  be  under- 
stood when  it  is  stated  that  the  profits  from  the  nine 
acres,  after  the  cost  of  seed,  implements  and  other 
contingent  expenses  had  been  paid,  were  $2,500. 
The  ruling  price  for  potatoes  was  25  cents  per 
pound,  and  for  cabbage  30  cents. 

The  stage,  which  made  its  nearest  division  station 
at  Laporte,  passed  his  door  and  the  driver  would 
generally  be  entrusted  with  baskets  and  sacks  to  be 
filled  with  vegetables  and  other  products  of  Mr. 
Strauss'  garden.  As  the  stage  frequently  passed 
in  the  night,  the  produce,  when  in  readiness,  was 
placed  upon  a  flat  stone  at  the  gate  and  the  driver 
would  stop,  pick  it  up  and  carry  the  sacks  to  their 
destination.  Upon  the  return  trip,  the  buyer,  who- 
ever he  chanced  to  be,  deposited  the  amount  due  to 
pay  for  his  purchases  with  the  stage  driver,  who  in 
turn,  upon  arriving  at  Strauss'  gate,  raised  the  flat 
stone  and  laid  the  money  thereunder.  So  prevalent 
had  this  method  of  transacting  business  become, 
that  frequently  weeks  at  a  time  passed  that  Mr. 
Strauss  and  the  stage  driver  did  not  see  each  other, 
but  the  money  was  always  in  its  place  and  the  gar- 
den truck  in  readiness.  In  relating  this  incident 
Mr.  Strauss  said  that  he  had  frequently  lifted  the 
flat  rock  to  find  $150  under  it.  No  road  agents 
lurked  about  in  those  days  to  surprise  the  unsuspect- 
ing stage  driver,  and  no  greedy  spy  ever  discovered 
the  novel  cash  drawer  and  robbed  it  to  gratify  his 
cupidity. 

The  spring  of  1864  witnessed  an  unusual  amount 
of  water  in  the  river  and  the  flooding  of  the  Howes 
meadows.  Mr.  Strauss  was  awakened  one  night 
to  find  water  nearly  two  feet  deep  over  his  floor. 
He  was  obliged  to  wade  out  and  seek  higher  ground, 
taking  with  him  what  he  could  conveniently  carry 
and  placing  the  remainder  out  of  danger  until  the 
flood  subsided.  Exactly  forty  years  later,  almost  to 
a  day,  poor  Mr.  Strauss,  then  old  and  feeble,  met 
death  in  a  similar  flood.  In  trying  to  escape  from 
his  home,  through  which  the  water  was  pouring  in 
torrents  to  go  to  the  home  of  a  neighbor,  he  was 
swept  by  the  current  against  a  fence  and  held  there 
all  night  long  until  chilled  to  the  marrow.  He 
died  shortly  after  being  discovered  by  his  neighbor, 
James  Strang,  and  rescued  from  his  perilous  posi- 
tion. 

"Ranger"  Jones  and  the  Indians 

"Ranger"  Jones  was  one  of  the  pioneers  of  the 
Cache  la  Poudre  valley  and  one  of  the  best  known 

[86] 


characters  of  the  early  days.  He  was  a  stockman 
and  owned  a  ranch  on  the  north  side  of  the  river  a 
short  distance  west  of  the  present  town  of  Tim- 
nath.  The  farm  is  now  owned  by  Herman  Strauss. 
He  used  to  declare  in  emphatic  terms  that  he,  the 
late  William  C.  Stover  and  the  late  John  B.  Provost 
built  the  range  of  mountains  to  the  west  of  Fort 
Collins.  He  was  the  father  of  Mrs.  Thomas  Earn- 
est and  along  in  the  70's  returned  to  his  former 
home  in  Missouri,  after  amassing  a  fortune  in  the 
stock  business,  where  he  died  several  years  ago. 
Many  interesting  stories  are  told  of  his  eccentricities 
by  the  surviving  old  timers.     Here  is  one  of  them: 

"Sometime  during  the  Indian  troubles  on  the 
Plains,  Ranger  Jones,  an  old-time  stockman,  well 
known  all  along  the  Platte  and  in  Wyoming,  was 
driving  the  mess  wagon  for  his  own  round-up  outfit, 
near  Cedar  Buttes,  in  Logan  county,  when  sud- 
denly Indians  appeared  and  fired  on  the  outfit. 
'G'lang  Pete'.  Git,  Sue!'  shouted  Ranger,  laying 
the  bud  lustily  on  his  team,  already  frightened  into 
a  run  by  the  yells  of  the  Indians.  Full  three  miles 
away,  one  cowboy  overtook  the  old  man  still  laying 
on  the  whip,  and  rolling  lively  wheels  for  the  River- 
side ranch,  twenty-five  miles  distant.  'Hold  up,  Mr. 
Jones'  shouted  the  cowboy,  the  Indians  have  got  all 
the  horses  and  gone.  Danger  is  all  over.  Hold  up, 
you're  spilling  all  the  cooking  fixings.  Hold  up, 
you've  spilled  the  frying  pan  and  pots.    Whoa!" 

"No  more  use  have  I  for  frying  pans  in  this 
world,  my  son",  replied  Ranger,  laying  on  more 
bud.  Seeing  that  talk  was  useless  the  cowboy 
grabbed  the  team  by  the  head,  swung  them  around 
and   stopped    them. 

Prisoner  Escaped  on  Court's  Horse 

In  1864,  while  the  county  seat  was  located  at 
Laporte,  the  county  commissioners  appropriated 
$150  to  be  used  in  building  a  log  jail.  The  contract 
was  let  to  Uncle  Ben  Whedbee,  who  died  in 
November,  1910  at  the  advanced  age  of  97  years, 
and  Mr.Blevins,  father  of  Montie  Blevins  of  North 
Park,  who  completed  the  building  in  due  time  and 
according  to  plans  and  specifications.  Charles  W. 
Ramer,  now  a  retired  merchant  and  hotel  keeper, 
hauled  the  logs  for  the  building  from  the  mountains 
with  an  ox  team.  The  late  John  C.  Matthews, 
who  was  later  county  clerk  and  still  later  a  promi- 
nent merchant,  was  the  only  justice  of  the  peace 
at  Laporte,  and  it  is  still  told  of  him  that  he  dealt 
out  justice  in  his  court  with  an  impartial  hand. 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNT  Y 


COLORADO 


Shortly  after  the  completion  of  the  jail,  two 
horse  thieves  who  had  been  bound  over  by  Justice 
Matthews  for  trial  in  the  district  court,  were  con- 
fined in  it  in  default  of  bail.  It  fell  to  their  lot  to 
be  the  first  prisoners  to  be  confined  in  the  new  jail. 
One  night  not  long  after  their  incarceration  they  cut 
their  way  out  of  jail  and  decamped,  taking  Squire 
Matthews'  only  horse  and  saddle  with  them.  It  is 
needless  to  say  the  Squire  never  afterwards  saw 
hide  nor  hair  of  his  horse,  saddle  and  prisoners.  In 
1868,  when  the  county  seat  was  moved  to  Fort 
Collins,  the  jail  building  was  taken  down  and 
moved  to  the  new  county  seat  where  it  was  rebuilt 
and  for  several  years  served  the  purpose  for  which 
it  was  originally  erected.  In  1880  after  the  Ted- 
mon  house  was  built  the  old  jail  was  converted  into 
a  laundry  for  the  hotel  and  used  as  such  until  the 
Union  Pacific  railroad  had  it  torn  down  and  re- 
moved to  make  room  for  its  tracks  through  the  city. 
Squire  Matthews  never,  so  long  as  he  lived,  heard 
the  last  of  the  scurvy  trick  the  horse  thieves  played 
on  the  court. 

Mariana  and  His  Rifle 

Many  stories  were  told  in  the  early  days  about  the 
ways  and  manners  of  Mariana  Modena,  the  Big 
Thompson  pioneer  who  kept  the  Overland  stage 
station  at  his  place  for  several  years.  The  following 
appeared  in  the  Denver  Field  &  Farm  in  March 
1890: 

"Nearly  thirty  years  ago,  while  traveling  in  the 
Taos  valley  in  New  Mexico,  we  chanced  to  camp 
for  the  night  at  the  same  watering  place  with  a 
dude-looking  Spaniard  or  Mexican  named  Mariana 
Modena.  He  had  a  squaw  wife  who  wore  a  blanket 
and  moccasins.  Mariana  wore  a  blanket  coat  gaily 
ornamented  with  silk.  When  upon  the  road  he  rode 
in  a  dilapidated  carriage  with  a  pair  of  Hawkins 
rifles  within  easy  reach.  His  team  of  four  horses 
was  guided  by  an  Indian  who  rode  the  right  wheeler 
and  directed  the  leaders  with  a  jerk  line.  Mariana 
was  a  pompous  little  fellow  who  had  not  only  lived 
with  Indians  but  had  killed  many,  and  was  as 
watchful  as  a  hawk  lest  some  buck  came  upon  him 
unaware  and  claimed  revenge.  When  at  home  he 
lived  in  Colorado  on  the  Big  Thompson  and  was 
well  fixed  with  cattle,  sheep  and  ponies.  But  when 
Jack — the  renegade  Indian  Chief — ^was  out  Mariana 
kept  in.  On  this  occasion  Mariana  was  down  in 
New  Mexico  to  let  Jack  have  Northern  Colorado 
to  himself.  As  he  expressed  it  to  us,  'he  didn't  want 
to  kill  an  Indian,  but  should  have  to  if  he  got  his 


eye  on  Jack',  said  he',  I  am  carrying  six  bullets  in 
my  body  that  Jack  and  five  others  have  fired  at  me 
at  different  times,  and  when  I  meet  one  of  them  I 
am  in  duty  bound  to  kill  him.  Jack  is  the  only  one 
left — I'll  get  him  by  and  by." 


MARIANA    MODENO,    FIRST    SETTLER    IN    THE    BIG 
THOMPSON   VALLEY;    NOTED   SCOUT,   TRAP- 
PER AND    INDIAN    FIGHTER 

In  after  years  we  became  well  acquainted  with 
the  Spaniard  or  Mexican  when  at  his  home  on  the 
Big  Thompson.  He  was  a  kind  hearted  fellow,  who 
as  the  saying  went,  'was  no  coward',  but  always  kept 
company  with  his  Hawkins  rifle.  You  could  never 
hail  him  at  his  door  but  he  came  out  smiling  with 
"Old  Lady  Hawkins",  as  he  called  his  gun,  in  his 
hand.  Well,  after  a  time — in  June  1878 — from  the 
effects  of  the  numerous  bullets  he  had  in  his  body, 
poor  Mariana  laid  down  and  died.  But  before 
crossing  the  range  he  sent  for  his  good  friend.  Gen. 
A.  H.  Jones  of  Denver,  and  presented  him  his  much 


[87] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


beloved  Hawkins  rifle.  It  is  stated  as  a  fact  that 
that  gun  had  killed  more  Indians  than  any  other 
gun  in  history. 

A  Soldier's  Epitaph 

In  1864-5  and  6,  when  the  United  States  soldiers 
occupied  Camp  Collins,  the  high  ground  at  the 
southwest  corner  of  College  avenue  and  Oak  street, 
which  the  Government  recently  purchased  as  a  site 
for  the  new  federal  building  for  which  money  has 
already  been  appropriated,  was  consecrated  as  a 
burial  place  for  those  who  died  here  while  in  the 
service  of  their  country.  A  number  of  soldiers  were 
buried  here  and  in  1874  their  graves  were  opened 
and  the  bodies  of  the  dead  transferred  to  Mountain 
Home  cemetery,  situated  in  the  southeastern  part 
of  the  city  limits,  and  reinterred.  Six  of  these 
graves  were  found,  but  the  names  of  only  one  of  the 
occupants  has  been  preserved.  In  opening  the  grave 
a  bottle  containing  a  paper  bearing  the  following 
was  found  by  J.  E.  Shipler,  at  the  head  of  it : 

Post  Hospital,  Camp  Collins, 

Colorado  Territory,  Nov.  8,  1865. 

"To  Whom  It  May  Concern: 

"I  am  really  sorry  to  be  pained  with  the  duty  of 
announcing  the  death  of  hospital  steward,  W.  W. 
Westfall,  of  Company  'F'  13th  Missouri  Veteran 
Volunteer  Cavalry,  which  sad  event  transpired  on 
the  8th  day  of  November,  1865,  at  the  hour  of  6:20 
p.  m.  at  this  place. 

"Poor  Westfall  took  ill  on  the  morning  of  the  3rd 

of  November,  '65  and  after  having  suffered  the  most 

excruciating  agony  from  typho-gastro-interic  disease, 

died  on  the  evening  of  the  8th  of  November,  1865. 

"Brave,  though  mild,  and  clever  too. 

Was  W.  W.  Westfall: 
We  buried  him  in  U.  S.  blue 

When  the  Lord  did  on  him  call. 

"His  sister,  R.  T.  Westfall,  resides  in  Taylor- 
ville,  Illinois." 

It  is  a  pity  that  the  name  of  Westfall's  compan- 
ions who  died  in  the  wilderness  during  their  trying 
early  years,  have  not  been  preserved  in  local  annals. 
The  new  postoffice  which  the  Government  will  in 
due  time  erect  on  the  ground  occupied  by  the  first 
made  graves  of  those  valiant  soldiers  and  patriots, 
will  be  a  monument  to  the  memory  of. their  heroic 
deeds  by  which  it  was  made  possible  to  rear  a  city 
in  what  was  a  trackless  wilderness  when  they  gave 
up  their  lives. 

[88] 


Stories  About  Old  Times 

In  1865,  Graham  flour  was  almost  unknown  in 
Larimer  county.  One  time  when  white  flour  was 
not  to  be  had  for  love  nor  money,  the  late  Charles 
W.  Howell,  who  then  lived  in  Pleasant  Valley, 
went  to  the  Laporte  store  where  he  bought  fifty 
pounds  of  the  coarse  flour.  It  seems  that  he  and  his 
good  wife,  who  still  survives  him  at  an  advanced  age, 
were  sublimely  innocent  regarding  the  excellent 
qualities  of  that  kind  of  flour,  and  the  next  day, 
Charlie  took  the  flour  back  to  the  store  and  told  the 
storekeeper  that  his  wife  had  tried  her  level  best  to 
make  bread,  biscuits  and  cake  out  of  that  flour  and 
couldn't  do  it  to  save  her.  Continuing,  he  said  "if 
old  man  Graham  couldn't  make  any  better  flour 
than  that,  he'd  better  go  out  of  the  business." 
Charley  never  heard  the  last  of  his  experience  with 
Graham  flour  as  long  as  he  lived. 

All  old  timers  remember  Judge  Howard  who 
lived  at  Laporte.  The  judge  was  a  well-educated, 
clever  old  man,  but  too  fond  of  his  toddy.  One 
time  when  he  was  pretty  full,  he  was  taken  before 
a  justice  of  the  peace  and  accused  of  stealing 
whiskey.  Several  well-known  residents  of  the 
vicinity  at  that  time  acted  as  attorneys  and  witnesses. 
The  judge  was  found  guilty  and  sentenced  to  be  tied 
to  the  spokes  of  a  wagon  wheel  and  given  nothing 
but  whiskey  until  he  starved  to  death.  Accordingly, 
the  judge,  who  was  pretty  well  scared  out  of  his 
intoxication,  was  tied  to  a  wagon  wheel  and  the 
wheel  set  in  motion  so  that  part  of  the  time  his  head 
and  then  his  feet  were  in  the  air.  He  was  finally 
left  in  that  position  nearly  half  the  night,  howling, 
praying  and  threatening  dire  vengence  upon  his 
tormentors.  It  was  a  long  time  after  that  before 
the  judge  allowed  the  cup  that  cheers  to  get  the 
better  of  him. 

The  judge  had  a  habit,  after  leaving  the  store, 
of  putting  his  ear  to  the  keyhole  to  listen  to  what 
was  being  said  about  him  by  those  on  the  inside.  A 
stage  driver  found  it  out  and  put  up  a  job  on  the  old 
man.  One  night  after  Judge  Howard  had  pur- 
chased a  large  paper  sack  full  of  eggs  he  left  the 
store,  but  stopped  to  listen  at  the  keyhole.  The  stage 
driver  began  at  once  to  tell  in  a  loud  voice  how  the 
judge  had  once  stolen  an  old  blind  mule  and  eloped 
with  the  owner's  wife.  In  a  moment  the  door  was 
flung  open  and  the  judge,  livid  with  rage,  bounded 
in  and  exclaimed :  Gentlemen,  you  are  a  set  of  liars 
and   robbers!      Forgetting   his   eggs,   the   old   man 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY,    COLORADO 


slammed  the  sack  down  on  the  counter  and  smashed 
every  one  of  them. 


While  A.  H.  Patterson  had  charge  of  Stover's 
store  at  Laporte  in  1870,  he  fixed  up  a  game  for 
loafers.  It  consisted  of  a  needle  with  a  spring  at- 
tachment at  one  end  of  the  counter  and  a  string 
leading  to  the  opposite  end,  which,  when  pulled  gave 


LULU   FALLS,    ESTES   PARK 
Photo  by  F.  P.  Clatwohthy 

a  vigorous  thrust  to  the  needle  up  through  a  hole 
in  the  counter.  One  day  Bill  Taylor  sauntered  in 
and  settled  himself  on  the  counter  right  over  the 
needle.  Someone  slipped  around  and  gave  the  string 
a  vigorous  yank.  Bill  hunched  up  one  shoulder  and 
shut  one  eye,  at  the  same  time  moving  rather  livelier 
than  usual  in  getting  off  the  counter.  He  caught  on 
but  was  mighty  quiet  about  it.  The  next  victim  to 
learn  the  secret  was  Norm  Meldrum,  who  after- 
wards, became  State  Senator,  Secretary  of  State, 
Lieutenant  Governor  and  the  Surveyor  General  of 
Colorado.  When  the  needle  sprung,  Denny,  as  he 
was  called,  shot  off  the  counter  and  let  out  a  war- 


whoop  that  would  have  done  justice  to  a  Sioux 
Indian.  It  wasn't  long  until  Johnny  Theobald,  the 
shoemaker,  came  in  and  squatted  down  right  over 
that  mischevious  needle.  Bill  Taylor,  thirsting  for 
revenge,  slipped  around  and  pulled  the  string.  Peck, 
peck  went  the  needle  and  still  Johnny  sat  looking  as 
innocent  and  unsuspecting  as  a  spring  chicken. 
After  Bill  had  began  to  sweat  around  the  collar  from 
pulling  the  string,  Johnny  moved  leisurely  off 
the  counter  and  reaching  into  the  bay  window  of  his 
trousers,  drew  out  a  piece  of  heavy  sole  leather. 
Somebody  had  put  him  wise  to  Billy  Patterson's 
trick  and  he  came  prepared  to  turn  the  laugh  on  the 
other  fellow. 

Indians  Steal  Rock  Bush's  Horses 

In  1865,  a  band  of  thieving,  blood-thirsty  Sioux 
Indians  swooped  down  upon  the  Cache  la  Poudre 
valley  and  drove  off  a  large  number  of  horses. 
Among  the  sufferers  from  the  raid  was  Rock  Bush, 
who  lost  several  head  of  animals.  He  put  in  his 
claim  for  damages  to  the  Government  soon  after, 
and  in  November  1886,  twenty-one  years  afterward 
— he  got  word  from  Washington  that  he  had  been 
allowed  $700 — the  amount  of  his  actual  loss  with- 
out interest.  His  claim,  with  thousands  of  others  of 
a  similar  nature,  had  laid  in  some  pigeon  hole  at 
Washington  all  that  time  awaiting  the  slow-going 
movements  of  the  powers  that  be.  Mr.  Bush,  who 
is  still  living  and  one  of  the  surviving  venerated 
pioneers  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  valley,  was  thank- 
ful that  his  life  was  spared  to  see  the  end  of  the 
matter  and  to  enjoy  the  use  of  the  money  so  long 
past  due. 

Indian  Raids  and  Scares 

The  pioneers  of  Larimer  county  had  many  things 
to  contend  with,  some  of  them  of  a  nature  to 
severely  test  their  courage  and  fortitude.  All  of  the 
country  northwest,  north  and  northeast  was  swarm- 
ing with  thieving,  blood-thirsty  savages,  until  after 
the  Union  Pacific  railroad  was  built  to  Cheyenne. 
The  settlers  were  always  in  constant  fear  of  a  raid 
by  these  marauders.  Their  fears  were  often  aug- 
mented by  a  number  of  French  settlers  who  rode  up 
and  down  the  river,  spreading  alarms,  for  some  of 
which  there  was  sufficient  cause,  but  in  many  in- 
stances they  were  entirely  baseless.  When  danger 
was  apprehended  the  settlers  left  their  homes  and 
hid  themselves  away  as  best  they  could.  On  one 
of  these  occasions  Andrew  Ames  of  the  Poudre  Val- 
ley  picketed   his   seventeen   horses   and   lay   in    the 


[89] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


field  for  several  days  watching  them  day  and  night. 
At  last,  worn  out  by  his  vigils,  he  fell  asleep  and 
the  next  morning  every  animal  was  gone.  Borrow- 
ing a  mule  from  Jesse  Sherwood,  he  started  on  the 
trail  of  the  supposed  Indians,  and  at  Denver  dis- 
covered that  the  thieves  were  a  band  of  Mexicans. 
He  recovered  nearly  all  of  his  horses  and  returned 
home. 

The  settlers  were  often  more  apprehensive  of  the 
degraded  whites  connected  with  the  Indians  than  of 
the  Indians  themselves.  Many  an  outrage  charged 
to  the  Indians  in  those  days  was  committed  by  white 
outlaws  or  Mexicans.  In  times  of  danger,  after  the 
soldiers  came  to  Camp  Collins,  in  1864,  the  men 
hurried  their  families  to  the  post  while  they  re- 
mained at  home  watching  their  property  from  hiding 
places  near  at  hand. 

The  state  of  feeling  that  existed  in  Indian  times 
is  illustrated  by  the  following  incident:  A  man 
named  Charles  Facet  kept  three  or  four  large  ox 
teams  at  Spring  Canon.  One  day  he  come  rushing 
to  Judge  Howes'  place  on  the  Poudre,  on  a  panting 
pony,  with  another  man  on  behind,  and  said  the 
Indians  were  after  him  and  had  stolen  his  cattle 
and  driven  them  into  the  hills.  The  settlers  rallied, 
the  soldiers  turned  out  and  a  big  crowd  went  back 
with  Facet,  where  they  found  the  cattle  grazing 
quietly.  A  few  half-breeds  from  Laporte  gathering 
berries  had  thrown  the  man  into  a  panic.  The 
nerves  of  the  inhabitants  were  nearly  all  of  the  time 
strung  to  the  highest  tension  by  fear  of  Indian 
raids. 

The  Overland  stage  employes  were  also  a  source 
of  annoyance.  They  were,  as  a  rule,  a  drunken, 
carousing  set  of  men,  and  Slade,  who  had  charge  of 
this  division,  was  a  desperado  of  the  first  water. 
Andrew  Ames  furnished  the  Laporte  station  and  the 
next  station  west  with  hay.  In  his  commonest  bus- 
iness transactions  with  Slade  the  latter  always  kept 
his  hand  on  his  gun.  It  was  one  of  Slade's  pastimes 
at  Laporte  to  hold  a  cocked  revolver  in  a  stranger's 
face  and  march  him  into  the  saloon  to  drink  with 
him.  One  day  Slade  and  most  of  his  men  got  on  a 
tear  at  Laporte  and  dumped  the  storekeepers'  gro- 
ceries into  the  middle  of  the  floor,  poured  molasses 
and  flour  all  over  them  and  then  called  the  propri- 
etor in,  the  men  then  putting  him  in  the  stage, 
hauled  him  to  the  Laramie  Plains,  where  they 
dumped  him  out.  This  little  bit  of  fun  cost  Slade 
and  his  gang  $800,  which  he  promptly  paid  after 
sobering  up. 

[90] 


First  Wedding  in  Fort  Collins 

On  December  30,   1866,  occurred  the  first  wed- 
ding solemnized   in   Fort   Collins,   the   contracting 
parties  being  the  Hon.   Harris   Stratton,   a  former 
member  of  the  Kansas  Territorial  Legislature,  and 
Mrs.  Elizabeth  L.  Keays,  a  niece  of  "Auntie"  Stone, 
Fort  Collins'  first  permanent  white  woman  settler. 
The   ceremony   was    performed    by    County    Judge 
Jesse    M.    Sherwood,    a   pioneer   of   the   Cache   la 
Poudre  valley,  in  a  small  log  house  built  for  Col- 
onel Collins'  headquarters,  which  stood  just  back 
of  where  the  Tedmon  house  now  stands.    The  wed- 
ding guests  were  C.  Boulware,  H.  C.  Peterson,  A. 
H.    Patterson,    Norman    H.    Meldrum,    "Auntie" 
Stone,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Henry  Forbes,  Dr.  and  Mrs. 
T  M.  Smith,   Mr.  and   Mrs.  N.   P.   Cooper  and 
their  three  daughters.     In  1867  Mr.  Stratton  rep- 
resented Larimer  county  in  the  Colorado  Territor- 
ial Legislature.     One  of  the  guests,  Hon.  Norman 
H.    Meldrum,   was   a   member   of   the   Territorial 
Council  in   1875,  and  was  the  first  State  Senator 
elected  from  the  county  after  Colorado  became  a 
state,  serving  in  the  first  General  assembly.     In  the 
fall  of  1878  he  was  elected  secretary  of  state  and 
re-elected  in  1880,  serving  two  full  terms,  and  was 
appointed  surveyor  general  of  Colorado  by  Presi- 
dent Arthur  in  1883,  and  in  the  fall  of  1886  was 
elected  Lieutenant  Governor  of  Colorado.     He  is 
now  a  resident  of  Buffalo,  Wyoming.     He  and  the 
bride  and  Mrs.  A.  J.  Ames  of  Denver,  who  was 
one  of  the  Cooper  girls,  are  believed  to  be  the  only 
survivors  of  that  happy  wedding  party.     Mrs.  Strat- 
ton is  still  a  greatly  beloved  resident  of  Fort  Col- 
lins and,  though  having  passed  four  score  years,  she 
enjoys  good  health  and  takes  a  great  deal  of  interest 
in  public  affairs.    Three  lovely  daughters  were  born 
of  this  union,  Lerah,   Marguerite  and  Sophia,  the 
first  named   being   Mrs.    P.   J.    McHugh   of   Fort 
Collins,  and  the  last  named  Mrs.  A.  Anderson,  late 
of  Columbus,  Nebraska,  but  now  of  Imperial  Val- 
ley, California.     Marguerite  died  a  few  years  ago 
while  serving  as  librarian  of  the  State  Agricultural 
College. 

"Billie"  Hayes'  Dog  Feast 

In  1865,  when  the  soldiers  were  stationed  at 
Camp  Collins,  Joseph  Mason  kept  a  sutlers'  store  in 
the  Grout  building,  which  stood  on  the  corner, 
where  Frank  Stover's  drug  store  now  stands,  and 
W.  D.  Hayes,  known  as  "Billie"  Hayes,  was  one 
of  his  clerks.  Chief  Friday  and  his  band  of  Ar- 
apahoes  were   camped   on   Mr.   Coy's   place.     The 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


squaws  and  their  papooses  used  to  hang  around  the 
store  a,  good  deal,  the  little  Indians  shooting  at  a 
mark  with  their  bows  and  arrows.  They  would  hit 
a  penny  fastened  in  a  split  stick  stuck  in  the  ground 
almost  every  time.  One  day,  thinking  to  have  some 
sport  with  "Billie,"  they  got  him  out  to  shoot  with 
them.  "Billie"  was  a  good  shot  with  the  bow, 
but  his  dusky  friends  didn't  know  it.  He  took  the 
bow  and  made  all  sorts  of  awkward  moves  and  wild 
shots,  which  greatly  pleased  the  Indian  boys  and 
their  mothers.  Finally  one  of  the  squaws  pointed  to 
an  Indian  dog  in  the  street  as  if  to  say  "shoot  him." 
"Billie"  drew  his  bow  and  sent  an  arrow  clean 
through  the  dog,  killing  him  instantly.  The  squaws 
immediately  set  up  a  wail  of  lamentation  over  the 
death  of  the  dog.  At  last  one  of  them  gathered  the 
dog  in  her  arms  and  started  for  home.  The  next 
day  "Billie"  was  invited  to  the  Indian  camp  to  take 
dinner.  He  went,  but  when  his  dusky  hosts  served 
up  the  feast  he  coucluded  his  stomach  was  a  little  too 
sensitive  to  hold  dog-meat  and  he  declined  the  prof- 
fered dish.  The  squaws,  thinking  they  had  called 
the  turn  on  him,  had  a  good  laugh  over  his  squeam- 
ishness.  The  soldiers  at  the  post  took  it  up  and 
"Billie"  wasn't  allowed  to  forget  his  dog  feast  while 
he  remained  here.  Mr.  Hays  is  now  a  prosperous 
banker  at  Hastings,  Michigan,  but  no  doubt  often 
recalls  his  experiences  in  Fort  Collins,  forty-five 
years  ago. 

Made  Good  Indians 

In  April,  1899,  Lieutenant  D.  McNoughton  of 
Grand  Rapids,  Michigan,  spent  a  few  days  in  Den- 
ver, and  in  an  interview  with  a  reporter  for  the  Den- 
ver Republican,  related  the  following  incident  which 
occurred  when  his  command  of  the  Seventh  Mich- 
igan succeeded  the  Eleventh  Ohio  troops  at  Camp 
Collins,  early  in  1865: 

"In  1865  a  band  of  Sioux  captured  two  wagons 
loaded  with  government  supplies,  a  few  miles  north- 
west of  Camp  Collins,  on  the  Salt  Lake  coach  road. 
The  drivers  escaped  and  reported  the  facts  to  the 
officers  in  command  at  the  camp.  In  the  pursuit 
of  the  Indians,  two  of  Lieutenant  McNoughton's 
command  were  killed,  but  several  of  the  Indians 
were  'good'  from  thenceforth.  At  the  time  of  the 
attack  on  the  wagons,  a  soldier  had  been  captured 
and  his  charred  body  was  found  bound  with  chains 
to  the  wreck  of  the  wagon,  where  he  had  been 
burned  alive  by  the  redskins." 

The  fight  with  the  Indians  spoken  of  by  Lieuten- 
ant McNoughton  took  place  June,   1865,  at  Wil- 


low Springs,  the  next  stage  station  west  of  Virginia 
Dale. 

Pioneer  Incidents 

In  1883,  the  late  Augustine  Mason  related  the 
following  incidents  which  came  under  his  notice 
in  the  early  days  of  the  settlement,  with  some  of 
which  he  was  personally  connected : 

"While  Chief  Friday  and  his  band  of  Arapahoes 
were  camped  on  the  Sherwood  place,  a  band  of  rov- 
ing Cheyennes  set  up  their  tepees  for  a  few  days  on 
the  north  side  of  the  river,  nearly  opposite  Chief 
Friday's  camp.  This  bunch  of  Cheyennes  were 
warriors  who  had  participated  in  many  of  the  fights 
against  the  whites  on  the  Plains,  while  Chief  Fri- 
day and  his  band  were  peaceable  and  friendly  to- 
ward the  white  settlers,  and  the  Cheyennes  taunted 
them  with  being  squaw  men  and  afraid  to  fight. 
At  last  one  of  the  latter  asked  Chief  Friday  if  he 
had  a  fighting  man  in  his  band.  This  aroused  the 
indignation  of  Friday's  son.  Bill,  and  he  shot  the 
Cheyenne  dead  with  a  revolver.  For  fear  that  his 
act  would  get  his  father  into  difficulty,  the  young 
Indian  took  his  three  squaw  wives  and  fled  north 
out  of  the  country.  Later,  when  he  supposed  the 
trouble  had  blown  over,  he  attempted  to  return 
to  his  father's  camp  and  was  overtaken  by  a  party  of 
Pawnee  warriors,  who  killed  him,  cut  off  his  head 
and  set  it  on  a  pole,  and  otherwise  horribly  mu- 
tilated his  body.  His  three  squaw  wives  were  taken 
prisoners." 


"Mr.  Mason  bought  the  Rist  Canon  road  of  Joe 
Rist  in  1868  for  $75.  His  brother,  Joseph  Ma- 
son at  that  time  owned  the  bridge  over  the  Poudre 
In  Pleasant  Valley.  As  it  fell  to  the  brothers  to 
keep  the  road  and  bridges  in  repair,  Joseph  sug- 
gested that  they  make  the  county  a  present  of 
both  properties,  which  they  did." 


The  first  Catholic  services  conducted  on  the 
Poudre  were  held  in  the  fall  of  1866.  Bishop 
Machebeuf,  then  a  priest,  celebrated  mass  on  a 
Saturday  in  Mrs.  Stratton's  school  house  in  which 
she  was  teaching  a  private  school.  The  following 
day  mass  was  celebrated  again  in  Henry  Forbes' 
house,  which  stood  on  the  farm  lately  owned  by 
William  F.  Watrous.  In  1878,  after  the  Reming- 
ton school  building  was  about  ready  to  occupy,  the 
old  public  school  building,  the  first  one  erected  in 
Fort  Collins,  was  purchased  by  the  Catholics  and 


[91] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


fitted  up  for  church  purposes  and  was  thus  occupied 
until  the  beautiful  new  church  on  Mountain  Ave- 
nue was  dedicated  in  1901." 


"Judge  A.  F.  Howes  started  the  movement,  in 
1870,  to  build  the  first  public  school  building  erected 
in  Fort  Collins.  It  was  a  small  frame  building  and 
stood  on  Riverside  avenue  near  the  corner  of  Peter- 
son street.  It  has  since  been  converted  into  a  dwell- 
ing house  and  is  occupied  as  such.  It  cost  about 
$1,100,  and  Augustine  Mason's  school  tax  that  year 
was  $165.25.  The  district  was  immediately  after- 
wards divided  and  Mr.  Mason  was  placed  in  Dis- 
trict No.  11.  Although  he  had  helped  to  build  the 
new  school  house,  he  had  to  pay  $3  a  week  for  the 
privilege  of  sending  his  child  to  the  Fort  Collins 
public  school.  Mr.  Mason  brought  the  first  shoe- 
maker to  Fort  Collins.  His  name  was  "Johnny" 
Theobald,  whom  Mr.  Mason  found  in  Denver  on 
his  uppers  and  in  debt.  A  few  months  after  locat- 
ing in  Fort  Collins,  Theobald  paid  off  all  his  debts 
and  continued  at  work  here  for  several  years." 


"The  late  Joseph  Mason  and  the  late  F.  W.  Sher- 
wood were  warm  personal  friends  and  each  trusted 
the  other  to  the  fullest  extent.  In  the  early  days 
they  engaged  in  the  stock  business  together,  buying 
and  selling  horses  and  cattle.  There  were  no  ar- 
ticles of  agreement  in  writing  between  them — only 
an  understanding  that  each  should  share  in  the 
profits  of  their  transactions,  which  they  divided  from 
time  to  time.  Mr.  Mason  did  most  of  the  buying 
and  selling  and  Mr.  Sherwood  kept  the  accounts 
as  rendered  by -the  former.  This  was  continued  for 
several  years,  and  when  they  concluded  to  dissolve 
partnership,  the  books  showed  that  Mr.  Mason 
was  indebted  to  Mr.  Sherwood,  as  the  latter's  share 
of  the  profits,  in  the  sum  of  $6,250.50.  'All  right,' 
said  Mason,  'Here  is  a  check  for  $6,250,  but  I'll 
see  you  hanged  before  I'll  ever  pay  the  fifty  cents.' 
It  was  thus  that  an  account  running  for  several 
years  and  involving  the  handling  of  tens  of  thou- 
sands of  dollars,  was  settled  by  these  two  pioneers, 
whose  faith  in  the  honor  and  integrity  of  each  other 
was  unbounded.  They  had  large  contracts  for  sup- 
plying the  Government  with  beef  cattle  and  horses 
at  Fort  Laramie  and  other  military  posts,  and  every 
penny  of  the  receipts  was  religiously  accounted  for 
in  the  settlement." 

[92] 


A  Reminiscence 

In  1868,  Dr.  W.  R.  Thomas,  Professor  of  His- 
tory and  Irrigation  Law  at  the  Colorado  State  Ag- 
gicultural  College,  traversed  the  Cache  la  Poudre 
valley  on  horseback  in  the  interest  of  the  Rocky 
Mountain  News.  Twenty-five  years  later  he  again 
visited  the  valley,  this  time  traveling  by  rail,  and 
in  a  letter  published  in  the  Rocky  Mountain  News 
of  December  28,  1893,  he  indulged  in  the  following 
reminiscence : 

"Broad  and  beautiful  is  the  valley  of  the  Cache 
la  Poudre."  I  recall  the  sentence  written  just 
twenty-five  years  ago  for  the  NewSj  and  as  I  rode 
along  the  valley  the  other  day  in  one  of  the  elegant 
coaches  of  the  Union  Pacific  train,  I  also  recalled 
the  first  ride  I  ever  made  along  the  banks  of  the 
famous  and  historic  stream.  The  Cache  la  Poudre 
then  marked  the  line  of  Colorado's  northern  frontier 
settlement.  The  danger  of  Indian  raids  still  threat- 
ened the  valley.  The  old  California  trail,  along 
which  the  Mormons  had  marched  to  Utah,  over 
which  the  forty-niners  had  made  their  way  to  Cal- 
ifornia, which  had  been  tramped  by  the  columns 
of  Albert  Sidney  Johnston  in  his  expedition  against 
Brigham  Young,  and  which  had  been  traveled  by 
the  fleet  riders  of  the  Pony  express  and  the  stage 
coaches  of  the  Overland  line,  was  still  broad  and 
well  defined.  There  was  but  one  family  living  be- 
tween old  Latham  station  on  the  Platte  and  Ben 
Eaton's  ranch  on  the  Cache  la  Poudre.  A  few  miles 
further  up  the  stream  was  the  ranch  of  Uncle  Jesse 
Sherwood.  Fort  Collins  had  just  been  abandoned  as 
a  military  post  and  consisted  of  half  a  dozen  adobe 
and  log  buildings.  Laporte,  where  Col.  Bill  Taylor 
kept  the  stage  station,  was  the  most  important  point 
in  the  valley,  and  was  a  primitive  frontier  trading 
point.  Thus  in  the  mellow  sunshine  of  a  late 
autumn  day  I  saw  the  broad  acres  of  the  valley, 
sloping  gradually  to  the  beautiful  stream,  whose 
course  from  the  mountains  to  the  Platte  was  marked 
by  groves  of  cottonwood.  The  hardy  pioneer  had 
just  entered  into  possession  of  this  valley,  and  before 
it  was  a  future  grand  with  industrial  possibilities. 
That  future  has  been  realized.  There  is  today  no 
more  prosperous,  enterprising,  energetic  or  intelli- 
gent community  in  all  Colorado  than  that  which 
claims  the  Cache  la  Poudre  valley  as  its  home." 

General  Grant's  Dinner  at  Laporte 

In  July,  1868,  General  Grant,  who  had  been 
nominated  for  the  presidency,  accompanied  by  Gen. 
W.  T.  Sherman  and  Fredrick  T.  Dent,  visited  Den- 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


ver,  coming  West  by  stage  via  the  Smoky  Hill 
route.  After  visiting  the  mines  at  Central  City  and 
Georgetown,  the  party  returned  East  via  U.  P. 
from  Cheyenne,  passing  through  this  county  on  the 
stage  and  taking  dinner  at  Laporte.  The  late  Wil- 
liam S.  Taylor  kept  the  hotel  at  Laporte  and  had 
the  honor  of  entertaining  the  distinguished  visitors. 
He  had  been  notified  of  their  coming  by  telegraph 
and  prepared  them  one  of  the  famous  dinners 
for  w^hich  Mrs.  Taylor  was  noted  far  and  wide. 
Travelers  by  the  Overland  stage  were  always  sure 
of  a  cordial  greeting  by  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Taylor  and 
the  best  meal  served  by  anyone  on  the  entire  line. 

John  G.  Coy's  Indian  Scare 

Mr.  Coy  came  from  the  State  of  New  York  to 
the  Cache  la  Poudre  valley  in  the  fall  of  1862,  and 
located  on  land  he  still  owns  and  occupies  adjoining 
the  eastern  limits  of  Fort  Collins.  When  he  settled 
here  the  houses  and  residences  in  the  valley  were 
few  and  far  between.  There  was  a  house  on  what 
was  later  known  as  the  Barry  place,  occupied  by 
Capt.  C.  C.  Hawley's  family;  a  house  on  Judge 
Howes'  place,  and  one  just  across  the  road,  occupied 
by  G.  R.  Strauss ;  Tod  Randall  had  a  cabin  on  what 
is  now  the  Slockett  place.  These  were  all  on  the 
north  side  of  the  river.  On  the  south  side  of  the 
river  there  was  but  one  small,  unoccupied  cabin  be- 
tween the  Sherwood  place,  four  miles  down  the 
stream,  and  the  Joseph  Mason  place,  about  a  mile 
up  the  stream  from  what  is  now  Fort  Collins. 
Though  there  were  plenty  of  Indians  here  at  that 
time,  he  never  had  any  trouble  with  them,  as  they 
did  not  molest  him  nor  his  property. 

He  did  get  a  bad  scare  one  time  from  what  he 
supposed  were  Indians,  and  came  very  near  blowing 
the  head  from  off  a  white  man.  And  this  is  how 
it  occurred:  In  the  fall  of  1870  he  went  to  Chey- 
enne with  a  load  of  vearetables,  loading  back  with 
merchandise  for  Stover  &  Matthews.  A  few  days 
before  this  a  soldier  had  been  killed  and  scalped 
near  what  is  now  known  as  Indian  Springs,  on  the 
Cheyenne  road.  The  soldier  and  his  comrade  had 
been  out  on  a  scout  and  the  two  had  camped  for 
the  night  near  the  springs.  During  the  night  their 
horses  had  broken  their  lariats  and  strayed  away 
and  in  the  morning  the  two  men  started  out  to  look 
for  them,  each  in  a  different  direction.  It  was  not 
long  until  one  of  them  heard  a  shot,  and,  supposing 
his  comrade  had  found  the  horses,  he  turned  about 
and  went  in  the  direction  whence  the  sound  of  the 
explosion  had  come.     In  a  short  time  he  came  upon 


the  dead,  scalped  and  mutilated  body  of  his  com- 
rade. He  had  found  the  horses  and  was  returning 
to  the  camp  with  them  when  killed ;  the  Indians 
had  stripped  him  of  his  clothing  and  gotten  away 
with  the  horses. 

Mr.  Coy  always  carried  a  carbine  with  him,  and 
thinking  of'  the  fate  of  the  soldier,  kept  a  sharp 
watch  for  Indian  signs.  On  passing  Indian  Springs 
he  saw  the  edge  of  a  blanket  waving  in  the  wind 
next  to  the  bank  of  a  deep  creek-wash.  Looking 
closer,  he  saw  what  appeared  to  his  excited  imag- 
ination like  three  heads  beneath  the  blanket.  He 
knew  there  was  no  use  in  attempting  to  turn  his 
team  and  fleeing,  for  he  believed  the  parties  under 
the  blanket  had  been  lying  in  wait  for  him,  so  under 
the  strain  of  a  good  deal  of  excitement,  he  got  out 
his  gun,  jumped  down  from  his  load,  determined 
to  sell  his  life  as  dearly  as  possible.  In  his  excite- 
ment and  while  his  heart  was  pounding  like  a  trip- 
hammer, a  shell  he  was  trying  to  slip  into  the  gun 
got  lodged  in  the  magazine  and  he  thought  his  time 
had  surely  come.  He  continued  working  away  to 
get  his  gun  in  condition  for  execution  and  at  last 
succeeded  in  getting  the  shell  into  place.  With  that, 
he  stepped  from  behind  his  wagon  and  drew  a  bead 
on  the  central  head,  giving  at  the  same  time  a  yell 
that  might  have  been  heard  for  a  long  distance. 
Immediately  there  came  a  responsive  yell  that  cur- 
dled Mr.  Coy's  blood;  the  blanket  flew  back  and 
exposed  the  head  of  a  white  man.  The  stranger 
was  a  German,  on  his  way  to  Cheyenne,  and  the 
day  being  cold  and  blustery,  he  had  gotten  down 
against  the  bank  and  drawn  the  blanket  over  his 
head  to  shield  himself  from  the  wind.  Hearing  a 
team  coming,  he  had  raised  the  blanket  on  each  side 
of  his  head  with  his  hands,  making  it  look  as  if  there 
were  three  heads  under  it.  Greatly  relieved,  Mr. 
Coy  drove  on,  congratulating  himself  on  his  nar- 
row escaoe  from  killing  the  German.  Just  before 
reaching  home  he  met  Peter  Anderson,  to  whom  he 
related  his  adventure.  Mr.  Anderson  replied, 
"That's  the  fellow  who  stole  my  blanket  and  re- 
volver." Mr.  Anderson  jumped  onto  a  horse  and 
took  the  trail  in  search  of  the  man,  whom  he  found 
in  camp  at  Maynard  Flats.  After  recovering  his 
property  and  scaring  the  fellow  almost  out  of  his 
wits  with  threats  of  sending  the  sherifif  after  him, 
he  returned  to  his  home,  having  ridden  all  night. 

Indian  Burials 

"S.  H.   Southard,"  said  the  Greeley   Tribune,  in 
May,  1900,  "lived  at  Laporte  for  some  time  in  the 


[93] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


early  sixties  and  had  a  very  stirring  experience. 
Musgrove,  the  all-round-bad-man  and  horse  thief, 
who  was  finally  hanged  in  Denver,  had  his  head- 
quarters at  Laporte.  He  and  his  gang  had  a  way 
of  stealing  horses  and  mules  and  selling  them,  and 
then,  later,  acting  as  detectives  and  hunting  up  the 
animals  for  a  consideration,  thus  making  money 
both  ways.  At  that  time  there  were  many  Indians 
at  Laporte.  They  had  a  curious  way  of  disposing 
of  their  dead.  Scaffolding  was  placed  in  the  tops 
of  large  Cottonwood  trees  and  the  dead  placed  one 
on  each  of  them,  and  as  buffaloes  were  plentiful  in 
those  days,  the  corpse  was  generally  inclosed  in  a 
buffalo  skin.  Many  of  us  old  settlers  who  jour- 
neyed up  the  Poudre  to  the  mountains  in  the  early 
seventies  saw  some  of  the  remains  of  these  'burials 
in  tree  tops.'  " 

In  this  connection.  Attorney  L.  R.  Rhodes  of 
Fort  Collins  relates  an  incident  regarding  the  Indian 
burial  place  near  Laporte,  with  which  he  was  per- 
sonally cognizant,  as  follows: 

"In  1872  there  was  being  run  down  the  Cache 
la  Poudre  river  a  large  drive  of  logs,  which  were 
sawed  up  into  lumber  at  Greeley.  I  was  working 
on  this  drive,  and  from  the  first  day  of  July  to  the 
first  of  August,  the  logs  were  driven  from  the  Pou- 
dre canon  to  a  point  about  opposite  the  present 
town  of  Windsor. 

"One  night,  about  dark,  a  young  man  by  the  name 
of  Carrington,  and  myself  were  passing  through  a 
grove  of  Cottonwood  just  above  Bingham  hill.  We 
noticed  that  in  several  large  cottonwood  trees  some 
fifteen  or  twenty  feet  from  the  ground,  there  had 
been  poles  laid  from  one  limb  to  another,  and  there 
was  something  that  looked  like  a  sack  or  bag  resting 
on  these  poles.  We  had  no  idea  what  this  meant. 
Carrington  climbed  one  of  the  trees  and  attempted 
to  loosen  the  poles  so  as  to  let  the  bundle  drop  to 
the  ground.  He  succeeded,  and  without  much 
trouble  the  bundle  came  tumbling  down  and  proved 
to  be  the  body  of  a  dead  Indian,  wrapped  in  a  buf- 
falo robe  and  blankets.  Inclosed  within  the  buffalo 
robe  were  bows  and  arrows  and  various  other  Indian 
implements. 

"We  went  on  into  camp  and  the  next  morning  in 
some  manner  the  squaw  men  living  at  Laporte 
learned  of  the  Indian  having  been  disturbed.  There 
was  great  excitement  and  threats  were  made  to  deal 
summarily  with  young  Carrington.  Carrington  left 
the  drive  that  morning  and  I  have  never  heard  of 
him  since." 

[94] 


Frontier  Justice 

On  the  4th  of  July,  1879,  the  people  of  Fort 
Collins  and  vicinity  held  a  celebration  in  a  grove 
on  the  north  side  of  the  river.  There  was  music, 
marching  and  speaking,  the  exercises  of  the  day 
winding  up  with  a  fine  display  of  fireworks,  the  first 
ever  seen  in  Fort  Collins. 

Late  in  the  afternoon  three  of  Governor  Eaton's 
ditch  builders  at  work  on  the  Larimer  &  Weld 
canal,  then  in  course  of  construction,  came  into 
town  and  proceeded  to  fill  themselves  up  with 
booze.  Along  in  the  early  evening  hours  they  began 
to  be  boisterous  and  disposed  to  make  themselves  de- 
cidedly disagreeable  with  their  loud  talk  and  swag- 
gering ways.  At  last  one  of  them,  a  young  fellow, 
stole  one  of  the  paper  balloons  and  pulling  it  down 
over  his  head,  strutted  around  with  it  on  in  the  form 
of  a  petticoat.  This,  the  crowd  thought,  was 'car- 
rying the  joke  a  little  too  far,  so  Sheriff  Sweeney 
and  Billy  Morgan,  who  was  town  marshal,  took 
the  three  obnoxious  fellows  into  custody. 

There  was  no  magistrate  in  town  that  day  and 
no  cooler  and  no  county  jail  in  which  to  confine  the 
prisoners,  and  the  officers  were  at  a  loss  to  know 
what  to  do  with  them.  At  last  it  occurred  to  Billy 
Morgan  that  Frank  Stover  was  a  town  trustee, 
and  if  he  didn''t  have  authority  to  try,  convict  and 
sentence  for  infraction  of  the  peace  in  emergency 
cases,  he  ought  to  have,  therefore  making  a  virtue 
of  necessity,  which  knows  no  law,  the  culprits  were 
taken  before  Mr.  Stover  to  be  disposed  of  as  he 
saw  fit.  Not  having  room  in  his  store,  which  then 
occupied  a  small  room  in  the  Yo.unt  bank  building, 
he  adjourned  court  to  the  street,  using  a  barrel 
standing  on  end  for  a  desk.  Mr.  Stover  assumed  a 
magisterial  air  and  proceeded  to  arraign  the  accused 
on  the  charge  brought  against  them.  The  young 
fellows,  who  were  tenderfeet,  by  the  way,  and  un- 
familiar with  wild,  western  ways  for  dealing  out 
justice,  except  from  hearsay,  began  to  sober  off  and 
to  think  their  days  were  numbered.  They  could  see 
no  mercy  in  the  face  of  the  court  and  no  pity  in  the 
surroundng  crowd.  Visions  of  their  lifeless  tender- 
feet  swaying  in  the  breeze  from  the  limb  of  a  cotton- 
wood  tree  swept  over  them  and  they  wilted.  They 
pleaded  guilty  and  threw  themselves  upon  the  mercy 
of  the  court,  beseeching  him  to  spare  their  lives  and 
promising  to  leave  town  immediately  and  give  no 
further  trouble  if  he  did  so.  After  a  short  lecture, 
in  which  the  court  admonished  them  to  forsake  their 
evil  ways  and  the  cup  that  inebriated,  the  court 
imposed  upon  them  a  fine  of  $5.00  and  costs.    They 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY 


COLORADO 


could  only  scare  up  $1.35  between  them,  which  the 
court  accepted,  the  tender-hearted  sheriff  and  mar- 
shal agreeing  to  donate  their  fees.  The  prisoners 
were  then  discharged  and  only  hit  the  high  places  in 
their  hurry  to  get  out  of  town.  The  interrupted 
celebration  was  soon  after  brought  to  a  close  in  a 
blaze  of  glory. 

A  Peace  Council  With  the  Utes 

In  September,  1865,  Territorial  Governor,  John 
Evans,  held  a  peace  council  with  the  Southern  Utes 
at  Fort  Garland  in  the  San  Luis  valley,  to  settle 
the  troubles  between  the  Indians  and  the  Mexican 
population,  and  a  peace  was  then  concluded  by  a 
mutual  indemnity.  A  battalion  of  the  21st  New 
York  cavalry,  then  stationed  at  Camp  Collins,  ac- 
companied Governor  Evans  on  this  expedition  as 
escort.  Among  the  officers  in  command  of  the  bat- 
talion were  Capt.  Farrar,  Lieutenant  Franklin, 
Lieutenant  John  H.  Mandeville  and  Lieutenant 
George  E.  Buss.  The  trip  he  took  on  the  occasion 
is  one  of  Mr.  Mandeville's  most  pleasant  recollec- 
tions and  he  enjoys  relating  incidents  connected 
therewith.  Governor  Evans  took  along  thirteen 
wagons  heavily  laden  with  gifts  for  the  Indians. 
One  wagon  was  loaded  exclusively  with  navy  to- 
bacco, the  plugs  being  a  foot  in  length.  There  was 
also  a  great  quantity  of  other  articles  intended  to 
please  the  fancy  and  propitiate  the  fierce  spirit  of 
the  redmen.  Arriving  at  Fort  Garland,  the  council 
was  called  and  the  Indians  came  in  from  all  direc- 
tions with  their  squaws  and  papooses.  Ouray  was 
the  head  chief  of  the  Utes.  Colorow  joined  the  ex- 
pedition at  Denver  and  proceeded  a  part  of  the  way 
with  it.  When  the  Indians  got  ready  to  talk  they 
formed  in  circles,  one  within  another,  the  head  chief 
and  his  staff  taking  the  outside  circle  and  the  others 
the  inner,  according  to  rank.  In  the  center  sat 
Governor  Evans  and  his  attendants.  Major  Head, 
who  was  the  Indian  agent,  acted  as  interpreter. 
Lieutenant  Mandeville  had  a  seat  near  the  gov- 
ernor and  before  the  talk  opened  Mr.  Mandeville, 
at  the  governor's  request,  procured  a  good  sized 
piece  of  pine  board.  When  everything  was  ready 
for  the  talk  to  proceed,  the  governor  drew  from 
his  pocket  a  keen  edged  clasp  knife  and  began  to 
whittle  long,  clean  shavings  from  the  pine  board. 
As  he  talked  he  whittled  and  before  the  council 
came  to  an  end,  he  had  whittled  away  several  pieces 
of  board.  Chief  Ouray's  talk  was  mild  and  digni- 
fied. He  had  visited  Washington  and  knew  some- 
thing of  the  strength  and  power  of  the  Government 


and  he  favored  peace  and  the  signing  of  a  treaty. 
Colorow,  however,  scored  the  whites  unmercifully 
and  bitterly  complained  of  the  treatment  the  Indians 
had  received  at  their  hands.  As  he  warmed  up  to 
the  subject,  he  moved  round  and  round  in  his  allot- 
ted circle,  but  the  other  speakers  who  were  less  ex- 
citable, stood  like  statutes  when  speaking. 

The  object  of  the  council  was  accomplished  and  a 
treaty  of  peace  between  Ouray  and  Governor  Evans 
was  ratified.  The  Utes  relinquished  all  their  claims 
to  the  San  Luis  valley  and  mountains  and  that  por- 
tion of  the  territory  west  of  the  Rocky  mountains 
in  which  settlements  had  already  been  made.  From 
this  time  there  were  no  serious  troubles  between  the 
Colorado  Utes  and  the  white  population.  Ouray 
always  remained  a  friend  of  the  whites  and  was 
made  much  of  by  Maj.  Head.  Governor  Evans  ap- 
pointed him  interpreter  at  the  Conejos  agency  at  a 
salary  of  $500.00  a  year.  The  old  chief  died  in 
1880. 

At  the  close  of  the  council,  the  gifts  brought  by 
Governor  Evans  were  distributed.  They  were 
passed  out  to  the  respective  chiefs  who  in  turn 
divided  them  among  their  people.  Later  the  Indians 
had  a  feast,  adding  many  of  the  provisions  presented 
to  them  by  Evans  to  their  own  store  and  indulged  in 
a  regular  gorge.  In  the  evening  they  held  a  dance 
which  was  attended  by  officers  of  the  batallion.  At 
one  point  in  the  dance,  as  the  officers  stood  in  a 
group  watching  the  performance,  the  dusky  dancers, 
highly  painted  up  and  chanting  one  of  their  wierd 
songs,  circled  around  the  guests  and  finally  en- 
tirely surrounded  them.  When  the  officers  mani- 
fested no  little  surprise  at  this  proceeding,  the 
Indians  broke  out  into  a  hearty  laugh  at  the  joke 
they  had  played  on  the  white  men. 

A  Soldier's  Recollection  of  Fort 
Collins 

An  interesting  letter  received  recently  by  John  G. 
Coy,  tells  of  the  old  days  in  Fort  Collins  when 
"Aunty"  Stone  sold  milk  at  fifty  cents  a  quart, 
butter  at  a  dollar  and  a  half  a  pound,  and  propor- 
tinate  prices  were  paid  for  all  the  necessities  of  life. 
The  writer  is  at  present  living  in  Oswego,  New 
York,  of  which  town  he  is  a  native,  and  the  writing 
of  the  letter  is  the  culmination  of  a  series  of  most 
interesting  circumstances  which  are  set  out  in  the 
document.  The  letter  reads  as  follows: 
"Mr.  John  Coy. 

"Dear  Sir:  You  will  be  surprised  at  receiving  a 
letter  from  Oswego,  from  a  man  you  don't  know, 

[95] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


so  I  will  tell  you  how  this  came  about.  I  am  store- 
keeper for  the  Government  in  Oswego  and  the 
building  is  only  a  block  from  where  your  brother, 
Ben,  lives.  He  comes  down  and  visits  me.  We 
were  talking  one  day  about  the  western  country.  I 
told  him  how  far  west  I  had  been  and  mentioned 
Fort  Collins  and  then  Camp  Collins.  'Why',  Ben 
says,  'I  have  been  there  twice  or  three  times  and  I 
have  a  brother  living  there  now  who  has  been  there 
since  1863,  I  think,  and  I  get  the  Courier  every 
week.'  This  took  place  about  a  year  ago.  Ben  said 
he  would  go  to  the  house  and  bring  down  one,  so  he 
did  and  has  continued  letting  me  have  one  when- 
ever there  is  anything  in  them  he  thinks  would  in- 
terest me ;  and  would  you  believe  it,  I  am  as  much 
interested  in  them  as  I  am  in  our  local  paper  So 
about  a  year  ago  I  wrote  the  editor  of  the  Courier, 
giving  him  a  sketch  of  the  days  when  I  was  in  and 
about  Fort  Collins.  I  was  a  member  of  the  21st  New 
York  cavalry,  stationed  at  Fort  Collins  from  1865 
to  1866,  and  if  you  were  there  in  1863-64,  why 
you  know  about  the  21st  cavalry. 

"Well,  Ben  said  you  lived  down  the  river  from 
Collins.  One  day,  three  or  four  of  us  Oswego 
boys  took  a  stroll  down  the  river,  oh,  a  mile  and  a 
half  or  so.  We  came  to  a  frame  house  and  if  I 
remember  rightly  it  hadn't  been  built  very  long. 
We  saw  some  milk  pans  out  drying,  so  some  of 
us  boys  says,  'let's  have  some  milk.'  We  went 
in.  This  was  in  the  afternoon.  There  was  a 
woman  and  a  couple  of  girls  in  the  house  and  we 
asked  them  to  sell  us  some  milk.  They  said  they 
didn't  like  to  disturb  the  milk  after  it  was  set,  so 
we  said  we  would  buy  the  whole  pan  full  and  pay 
whatever  they  thought  it  was  worth.  At  this  stage 
of  the  game,  the  man  came  in  and  we  got  to  talk- 
ing, and  finally,  he  asked  us  what  state  we  were 
from.  We  said  Oswego,  New  York.  'Why',  he 
said,  is  that  so?  I  am  from  Oswego."  He  asked 
us  if  we  knew  Fitchne  and  Littlejohn  and  some  other 
early  settlers  of  Oswego.  We  had  all  the  milk  we 
wanted  to  drink  and  he  wouldn't  accept  any  pay  for 
it  and  wanted  us  to  come  down  often,  as  he  liked  to 
talk  to  us.  There  was  another  house  across  the 
river  from  Collins,  built  that  spring  or  the  year  be- 
fore. Then  I  wondered  what  anyone  wanted  to 
come  out  in  that  God-forsaken  country  and  build  a 
house  with  the  intention  of  staying  there.  I 
wouldn't  have  stayed  there  for  all  Fort  Collins  and 
all  the  buildings  in  sight. 

"While  out  there  we  went  as  far  as  Fort  Bridger. 
We  left  Fort  Leavenworth  July  22,  1865,  struck  the 
Platte  river  at  Fort  Kearney,  then  up  the  river  to 

[96] 


Denver  and  from  there  to  Fort  Collins  to  a  post 
then  called  Virginia  Dale,  Little  Laramie,  Big 
Laramie,  Cheyenne  and  on  to  Bridger.  We  were 
guarding  the  U.  S.  mail,  which  was  carried  by  stage. 
We  left  Fort  Collins  the  latter  part  of  June,  1866, 
and  glad  we  were  to  get  away  from  there.  It  used 
to  take  a  month  to  get  a  letter  from  home. 

"A  man  by  the  name  of  Mason  built  a  concrete 
store  at  Collins  just  before  we  got  there  and  Mrs. 
Stone's  little  home  was  only  a  little  ways  from  it. 
I  bought  bread,  pies,  and  milk  from  her;  50  cents 
per  quart  for  milk,  $1.50  for  a  pound  of  butter.  I 
forgot  what  we  did  pay  for  bread.  We  paid  Mason 
25  cents  for  a  small  glass  of  beer,  $3.00  for  a  pint 
of  whiskey.  I  once  paid  $1.50  for  13  apples.  Who 
would  want  to  live  out  there  ?  No  work  going  on ; 
why  one  would  have  to  live  on  prairie  dogs  and 
rattlesnakes  in  order  to  get  along. 

"Now  I  see  Fort  Collins  has  a  population  of 
8,000  or  9,000,  and  I  saw  a  picture  of  all  your 
public  buildings.  They  are  fine,  and  were  I  able 
to  stand  the  expenses  of  going  out  there  on  a  visit, 
I  certainly  would  go.  The  winter  I  was  in  Collins, 
there  was  about  three  or  four  inches  of  snow.  Some 
of  the  officers  built  sleighs  out  of  old  boards  and 
had  a  sleigh  ride.  It  only  lasted  a  few  days.  I 
could  tell  quite  a  lot  of  things  that  went  on  during 
the  year  I  was  on  the  Plains  (that's  what  we  used 
to  call  it)  ;  so,  wishing  you  and  your  family  and  all 
the  people  of  Fort  Collins  a  prosperous  future,  I  am 
Most    respectfully, 

Patrick  Glynn, 
127  E.  Albany  St.,  Oswego,  N.  Y." 

An  Early  Day  Election 

An  election  was  held  in  Larimer  county  in  Sep- 
tember, 1868,  and  James  S.  Arthur,  F.  W.  Sher- 
wood and  John  Arthur  were  appointed  to  register 
the  names  of  all  persons  entitled  to  vote  at  that  elec- 
tion. The  board  met  on  the  18th  day  of  August 
and  was  sworn  in  by  J.  M.  Sherwood,  probate 
judge.  The  board  proceeded  to  register  the  names 
of  the  following  voters:  James  B.  Arthur,  James 
S.  Arthur,  John  Arthur,  Andrew  Ames,  Joshua 
Ames,    Geo.    E.    Buss,    Philander    Bradley,    N.    P. 

Cooper,  Fritz  Cooper,  Cowles,  Thomas 

Cline,  A.  R.  Chaffee,  David  Davis,  John  Davis, 
Ebenezer  Davis,  Simon  Duncan,  John  B.  Decsgin, 
Thomas  Earnest,  James  Earnest,  Paul  Flick, 
Charles  George,  Stephen  George,  Lewis  Haskell, 
James  Hall,  Claiborne  Howell,  John  Henderson, 
Ira  Henderson,  Jam.es  Israel,  Joshua  P.  Johnson, 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


Michael  Jones,  Revilo  Loveland,  Isaac  Loveland, 
John  Lucy,  Herman  Manner,  John  Malsby,  C.  J. 
McDivitt,  Michael  Norton,  Jerry  Olney,  Joseph 
Prendergast,  Allen  Packer,  Edward  Rogers,  Jesse 
M.  Sherwood,  F.  W.  Sherwood,  A.  H.  Stearns, 
Robert  Strauss,  Elias  Smith,  Sidney  Stone,  Paul 
Thorpe,  Rufus  Wygal. 

The  registration  book  does  not  show  what  the 
election  was  to  be  held  for,  nor  the  names  of  per- 
sons to  be  voted  for,  but  it  was  probably  a  general 
election  as  the  book  also  contains  the  names  of  voters 
registered  for  an  election  held  August  23rd,  1869 
and  August  24th,  1870.  The  board  of  registration 
for  1870  was  composed  of  Thos.  A.  McCrystal, 
Joseph  Prendergast  and  John  Arthur.  Those  named 
for  the  board  in  1869  are  not  given  in  this  old  book, 
though  it  contains  the  names  of  persons  registered 
for  an  election  held  in  1869.  The  book  was  found 
by  Deputy  Sheriff  Pindell  in  some  old  papers  that 
had  found  lodgment  in  the  sheriff's  office  and,  so 
far  as  I  have  been  able  to  find  out,  is  the  only 
record  in  existence  pertaining  to  elections  held  in 
Larimer  county  between  the  years  1866  and  1878. 
As  will  be  seen  it  contains  the  names  of  49  persons 
entitled  to  vote  in  1868.  The  precinct  included  all 
the  territory  lying  east  of  the  Coy  farm  to  the 
county  line  and  north  of  the  Big  Thompson  divide 
to  the  north  line  of  the  Territory. 

A  Woman  Starts  a  New  Industry 

The  first  commercial  cheese  and,  perhaps  the  first 
of  any' kind,  except  cottage  cheese,  manufactured 
in  Larimer  county  was  made  by  Mrs.  George  E. 
Buss  in  1886,  on  the  Buss  farm  near  Timnath. 
She  had  been  reared  on  a  farm  and  had  seen  and 
helped  her  mother  make  cheese  and  knew  how  it 
was  done.  Her  facilities  at  the  start  were  of  the 
crudest  kind.  The  hoop  was  hollowed  out  of  a  por- 
tion of  a  Cottonwood  tree  and  the  press  was  con- 
structed out  of  the  remnants  of  an  old  grain  reap- 
ing machine,  the  tongue  being  used  for  the  weighted 
lever.  Notwithstanding  her  lack  of  up-to-date 
facilities  and  appliances,  she  made  a  number  one 
article  of  cheese  and  it  found  a  ready  sale  in  Fort 
Collins  and  in  the  surrounding  country.  For  qual- 
ity, it  beat  the  imported  article  all  to  pieces  and  was 
in  great  demand.  The  following  year,  encouraged 
by  her  success,  Mrs.  Buss  obtained  some  galvanized 
iron  cheese  hoops  and  engaged  more  extensively 
in  cheese  making,  turning  out  that  year  7,000  pounds 
of  first-class  cream  cheese.  This,  too,  sold  readily  at 
good  prices,  Mrs.  Buss  realizing  a  nice  little  sum  in 


the  way  of  profit.  That  year  (1887)  a  creamery 
was  built  at  Fort  Collins  at  which  cheese  was  also 
made,  but  Mrs.  Buss'  cheese  was  so  much  superior 
to  that  made  at  the  factory  that  there  was  no  sale 
for  the  latter.  The  owner  and  manager  of  the 
factory  called  on  that  lady  and  tried  to  induce  her 
to  quit  the  business  or  else  to  market  her  cheese  in 
Greeley  and  Eaton,  saying  that  the  competition  was 
injuring  his  business.  Mrs.  Buss  calmly  told  him 
that  she  had  a  good  home  market  for  all  the  cheese 
she  could  make  and  that  she  saw  no  reason  why  she 
should  be  at  the  extra  expense  of  sending  her  prod- 
uct to  other  markets;  that,  if  he  was  not  satisfied 
with  his  market,  he  had  a  perfect  right  to  hunt  up 
a  better  one.    This  ended  the  conversation. 

The  labor  involved  in  making  so  much  cheese 
finally  began  to  tell  upon  her  strength  and  she  had 
to  give  up  the  business,  not,  however,  until  she  had 
demonstrated  that  cheese  equal  to  the  best  New 
York  or  Wisconsin  cheese  could  be  made  in  Colo- 
rado. In  1889  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Buss  sold  their  farm 
and  moved  to  Fort  Collins  which  has  since  been 
her  home.  Her  husband,  Capt.  Buss  a  gallant 
soldier  of  the  21st  New  York  cavalry,  which  was 
stationed  here  in  1865-6,  died  in  1908. 

Beginning  of  Newspaper  History  in 
Larimer  County 

The  appended  letter  from  William  W.  Sullivan, 
a  Larimer  county  pioneer,  and  for  many  years  an 
esteemed  resident  and  business  man  of  Fort  Collins, 
contains  so  much  of  the  flavor  of  pioneer  days,  and 
details  so  many  incidents  connected  with  the  history 
of  Fort  Collins,  that  I  am  not  called  upon  to  offer 
any  apologies  for  its  appearance  in  the  History  of 
Larimer  County. 

Mr.  Sullivan,  from  September  1st,  1886  to  Feb- 
ruary 16,  1899,  was  principal  owner  and  business 
manager  of  the  Fort  Collins  Courier,  of  which  the 
writer  was,  and  still  is,  editor.     His  letter  follows : 

"Los  Angeles,  Calif.,  Sept.  6,  1910. 
1319  S.  Hope  Street. 
Dear  Friend  Watrous : 

I  read  with  much  interest  the  early  trials  of  Hon. 
W.  C.  Stover  in  a  recent  issue  of  the  Courier.  It 
is  such  incidents  as  these  that  decide  a  man's  metal 
and,  in  Mr.  Stover's  case,  proved  that  it  was  a  man 
who  had  met  reverses,  and  overcome  them.  It  was 
as  natural  for  Mr.  Stover  to  become  one  of  the  lead- 
ing personalities  in  the  development  of  the  great 
West  as  it  is  for  the  sun  to  rise  in  the  morning. 

[97] 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER         COUNTY 


COLORADO 


We  all  had  our  trials  in  those  days,  even  news- 
paper men  coming  in  for  a  full  share.  In  the  fall  and 
early  winter  of  1869,  I  was  freighting  from  Chey- 
enne to  Central  City.  I  then  figured  that  in  the  fut- 
ure a  city  would  rise  at  some  point  on  the  Poudre, 
and  calculated  that  it  would  naturally  be  where 
Fort  Collins  now  stands.  Having  worked  as"devil" 
on  the  Central  City  Register  for  two  years,  1864- 
1866,  my  thoughts  naturally  turned  to  establishing 
a  newspaper;  so  it  was  the  dream  of  my  early  man- 
hood to  found  the  first  newspaper  in  Larimer 
county.  In  the  winter  of  1869-70  I  attended 
Jarvis  Hall  at  Golden,  setting  type  at  odd  hours 
for  the  late  Capt.  George  West  on  the  Transcript. 
After  the  school  term  was  over  I  continued  as 
compositor  on  the  Transcript  until  I  had  served 
the  three  years  then  necessary  to  entitle  me  to  become 
a  member  of  the  Typographical  Union.  From 
Golden  I  went  to  Denver  and  became  a  member 
of  the  Denver  Typographical  Union  No.  49.  Here 
I  set  type  on  the  different  dailies  for  a  long  time  as 
"sub",  but  finally  got  regular  cases  on  the  News. 
Things  went  well  for  a  while  until  I  had  the  temer- 
ity to  oppose  my  own  foreman  in  the  election  of 
officers  in  the  union.  He  was  a  candidate  for  presi- 
dent and  I  opposed  his  election  on  the  ground  that 
a  foreman  should  not  hold  that  office.  He  resented 
by  discharging  me  and,  in  1872,  I  started  on  a  regu- 
lar printer's  tramp  east,  and  did  not  return  for  a 
year.  When  I  returned  J.  S.  McClelland  had  es- 
tablished the  first  paper  in  Larimer  county,  and 
dream  No.  1  was  blasted. 

A  short  time  afterwards  Clark  Boughton  estab- 
lished the  second  paper,  the  Standard.  General 
Cameron  had  established  a  colony  at  Fort  Collins 
and  another  town  had  sprung  up.  The  fight  was  on 
between  the  old  and  the  new  town,  and  it  was  very 
bitter.  The  Standard  was  published  in  the  new 
town,  about  where  the  Fort  Collins  National 
National  Bank  building  is  now  located.  J.  S. 
McClelland  had  built  his  printing  office  about  where 
the  Masonic  Temple  is  located.  The  Standard  was 
frankly  the  "organ"  of  the  colony,  and  as  such  could 
look  for  scant  support  from  the  old  town.  This 
was  the  situation  when  I  bought  a  half  interest  with 
Clark  Boughton  in  the  Standard,  in  the  spring  of 
1874.  Our  partnership  did  not  last  long,  however, 
Clark  fell  ill  with  inflammatory  rhumatism,  and  his 
attending  physician.  Dr.  Smith,  informed  me  that 
he  was  worrying  over  the  paper,  and  asked  me  to 
allow  Rev.  Myrick  to  buy  his  interest.  I  did  not 
believe  we  could  make  a  living  publishing  the 
Standard  unless  both  parties  were  printers,  and  told 


Mr.  Myrick  so.  He  was  getting  a  small  income  as 
pastor  of  a  very  small  church  at  the  time,  and  he 
suggested  that  he  would  edit  the  paper  and  his  son 
Herbert  and  myself  could  do  the  mechanical  work 
and  we  would  share  equally  in  the  profits  or  the 
losses  of  the  business.  On  these  terras  we  entered 
into  a  partnership  for  a  year's  time.  Herbert  proved 
an  apt  pupil  at  the  business,  and  in  a  remarkably 
short  time,  became  an  expert  compositor.  By 
exercising  the  strictest  economy  we  were  able  to 
make  a  bare  living.  Mr.  Myrick  and  Herbert 
batched.  Frank  Avery  allowed  me  to  room  with 
him  back  of  his  office  free  of  expense,  and  for  a  long 
time  we  batched  in  a  little  10  x  12  shack.  It  was 
summer  time  and  fearfully  hot  to  go  there  and  cook 
and  eat  meals,  and  the  height  of  my  ambition  was  to 
get  in  position  to  board.  But  I  could  not  figure 
that  I  could  afFord  it.  Finally  I  made  a  trade  with 
the  late  Captain  Coon.  I  had  become  the  possessor 
of  a  lot  through  work  for  the  Colony,  the  one  on 
which  the  late  Jacob  Welch  built  his  stone  resi- 
dence. This  I  traded  for  board  at  the  Agricultural 
hotel,  being  allowed  one  half  of  my  board  each  week 
in  payment  on  the  purchase  price  of  $150  for  the 
lot,  paying  the  other  half  in  cash.  These  were 
the  years  of  the  grasshopper  invasion  and  we  were 
barely  living,  and  had  no  profit  for  labor  or  invest- 
ment. 

Herbert  thought  he  could  manage  the  mechanical 
department  with  the  aid  of  a  boy,  so  I  leased  my  in- 
terest to  Mr.  Myrick  and  started  for  the  Black 
Hills  in  March,  1876.  The  grasshoppers  came 
again  and  the  Standard  could  not  live,  so  Mr. 
Myrick  suspended  its  publication.  Like  Mr. 
Stover's  trials,  the  vicisitudes  of  the  Standard  bore 
its  fruits.  They  developed  the  man  in  Herbert 
Myrick,  and  he  is  one  of  the  most  successful  pub- 
lishers in  the  United  States  today. 

At  one  time  I  had  a  prospect  of  continuing  the 
publication  of  the  Standard,  and  if  my  plans  had 
not  failed  probably  the  newspaper  history  of  Lari- 
mer county  would  have  read  quite  different.  Dr. 
Smith  and  W.  B.  Osborn  were  candidates  for 
county  treasurer,  the  doctor  being  successful.  He 
declined  to  qualify,  and  the  commisioners  tendered 
the  appointment  to  the  late  J.  J.  Ryan.  He  lived  on 
the  Thompson  at  the  time  and  did  not  care  to  move 
to  Fort  Collins.  He  made  me  the  proposition  that 
he  would  appoint  me  his  deputy  and  I  could  receive 
the  taxes  at  Fort  Collins  and  he  would  collect  on 
the  Thompson,  each  of  us  receiving  the  commissions 
for  his  collections.  This  would  have  given  me 
about  $450  per  year  and  enabled  me  to  continue  in 


[98] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


the  publication  of  the  Standard.  But  Mr.  Osborn 
proposed  to  the  commissioners  that  he  would  collect 
all  the  taxes  for  $250  per  j'ear,  and  the  commis- 
sioners, my  father  being  a  member  of  the  board  at 
that  time,  appointed  him  at  his  price.  But  who 
shall  say  it  was  not  for  the  best?  Had  the  Stand- 
ard continued,  the  Courier  would  probably  never 
have  been  established,  and  Ansel  Watrous  would 
probably  never  have  entered  the  business  in  Larimer 
county.  W.  W.  Sullivan."' 

Deceived  Lover  Kills  Himself 

On  July  24th,  1879,  a  tragedy,  resulting  from 
deceit  and  disappointment  in  love,  occurred  at  Pine 
Ridge  agency  in  which  William  and  John  Provost, 
sons  of  John  B.  Provost  of  Laporte,  figured  as  prin- 
cipals. The  young  men  were  both  born  and  reared' 
at  Laporte  and  were  well  known  to  all  of  the 
pioneers  of  the  valley.  Their  mother  was  an  Indian 
woman  and  when  she  returned  to  her  tribe  at  Pine 
Ridge  agency  in  1878,  the  boys  went  with  her  and 
John,  who  had  received  a. smattering  of  an  educa- 
tion in  English  and  could  speak  that  as  well  as  his 
native  tongue,  was  employed  at  the  agency  as  inter- 
preter. The  unfortunate  affair  brought  trouble 
and  sorrow  upon  the  father  of  the  two  boys,  who 
resided  at  Laporte. 

The  particulars  of  the  unfortunate  affair,  caused 
by  love,  jealousy  and  revenge,  were  published  in  the 
Fort  Collins  Courier  as  follows:  "The  two  brothers, 
Billy  and  Johnny  Provost,  employed  at  the  agency, 
the  former  stock  superintendent,  became  enamored  of 
a  beautiful  Indian  girl  named  Soeteiva  (Little 
Bird),  daughter  of  Eagle  Wing,  a  sub-chief  in  Red 
Cloud's  band  of  Sioux.  Before  giving  his  consent, 
as  is  the  custom  among  Indians,  Eagle  Wing  de- 
manded a  horse  as  the  prize  of  his  daughter's  hand 
in  marriage.  Billy  Provost  not  having  a  horse  to 
give,  consulted  an  Indian,  who  gave  him  a  horse  as 
his  own  which  in  reality,  however,  belonged  to  a 
man  named  Clement  Bernard,  who,  unknown  to 
Billy,  was  also  suing  for  the  affections  of  the  dusky 
maiden.  Following  the  Indian's  advice,  Billy  took 
the  animal  and  delivered  it  to  Eagle  Wing,  and  was 
about  to  take  his  prize  when  Bernard  appeared  on 
the  scene,  claiming  his  property  and  putting  a  stop 
to  further  ceremonies.  Provost,  after  finding  out 
that  he  had  been  deceived,  and  being  ejected  from 
the  lodge  by  the  chief,  seized  with  grief  and  re- 
morse, placed  a  pistol  to  his  head  and  blew  his 
brains  out. 


John  Provost,  the  interpreter,  on  learning  of  his 
brother's  suicide,  sought  out  the  Indian  who  be- 
trayed his  brother  and  Bernard  his  rival,  intending 
to  kill  them.  Finding  both  in  the  agent's  office,  he 
deliberately  and  without  warning  opened  fire  on 
them,  killing  Bernard.  Several  Mexicans,  country- 
men of  the  murdered  man,  surrounded  the  mur- 
derer, and  would  have  lynched  him  had  it  not  been 
for  the  prompt  action  of  Dr.  McGillicuddy,  the 
Indian  agent,  who  sent  young  Provost  under  a  guard 
of  Indian  soldiers  to  the  military  guardhouse  at 
Camp  Sheridan  to  be  held  pending  a  trial  for  mur- 
der by  the  civil  authorities.  The  trial  came  off  in 
due  time  and  John  was  acquitted.  The  latest  news 
from  him  is  to  the  effect  that  he  is  living  in  Michi- 
gan and  not  troubled  by  regrets  over  avenging  the 
untimely  death  of  his  brother  William. 

Sufferings  of  Soldiers  During  a  Win- 
ter's March  on  the  Plains 

The  following  story  of  the  intense  suffering  ex- 
perienced by  Captain  James  W.  Hanna's  troop  of 
soldiers  in  a  march  from  Fort  Laramie  to  Fort  Col- 
lins in  January,  1865,  was  told  a  Denver  News  re- 
porter by  an  old  frontier  soldier,  and  published  in 
that  paper  in  February,  1892.  As  it  relates  to  in- 
cidents connected  with  the  early  settlement  of  the 
Cache  la  Poudre  valley  and  gives  a  graphic  descrip- 
tion of  that  early  march  and  the  fight  for  life  the 
troopers  had  with  the  elements,  I  reproduce  the 
story  in  full : 

"It  was  in  January,  1865,  when  Captain  J.  W. 
Hanna,  then  commanding  Company  L,  Eleventh 
Ohio  cavalry,  marched  from  Fort  Laramie,  under 
orders  to  proceed  to  Fort  Collins,  Colorado,  to  re- 
inforce Major  W.  H.  Evans,  who,  with  Company 
F  of  the  Eleventh  Ohio,  held  that  then  frontier 
outpost.  At  that  time  the  white  settlers  of  the 
Cache  la  Paudre  were  few  and  far  between.  There 
was  a  stage  station  at  Laporte  a  few  miles  above 
Fort  Collins. 

"It  was  a  bright  sunny  January  day  when  the 
seventy  or  eighty  'Buckeye  boys',  each  clad  in  buck- 
skin, buffalo  and  beaver  trappings,  rode  joyfully 
up  the  Laramie  river  bound  for  the  settlement. 
That  night  they  camped  on  the  Chugwater  and,  over 
bright,  blazing  campfires,  told  over  wellworn  yarns 
and  felicitated  themselves  upon  once  more  seeing 
white  girls  and  calico  after  their  three  years'  exile 
among  the  Sioux  in  far-off  Black  Hills.  That 
night  as  they  lay  snug  and  cozy  amid  the  shelter- 
ing boxelder  groves,  a  blanket  of  snow  about  a  foot 


[99] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


thick  was  silently  laid  over  them  and  their  horses. 
Next  morning  as  they  resumed  their  march  a  gen- 
uine western  blizzard  set  in  and  the  mercury  kept 
dropping  all  day.  That  night  the  boys,  many  of 
them  sons  of  the  best  families  of  Ohio,  nurtured  in 
comfort  and  pernaps  luxury,  tasted  the  first  bitter- 
ness of  their  terrible  march.  But  they  had  abund- 
ance of  wood,  and  if  the  wind  whistled  fiercely  over 
the  cheerless  Plains,  it  did  not  trouble  them  down 
there  in  the  valley  of  the  'Chug'. 

"It  is  true  the  boys  suffered  some  as  they  lay 
upon  the  frozen  earth,  their  beds  banked  round 
with  snow;  but  there  was  little  complaint  and  little 
sleep,  for  they  dreaded  the  morrow.  There  was  a 
four-days'  march  ahead  of  them  over  a  treeless,  life- 
less, wind-swept  Plain,  and  a  dark  storm  cloud  hung 
over  the  hill.  The  next  day  the  brave  boys  breasted 
the  icy  blasts  silently  and  gloomily.  The  column 
kept  well  together,  not  because  of  fear  of  an  Indian 
attack,  but  because  of  consciousness  of  unseen 
dangers.  To  straggle  or  laj  behind  meant  death 
and  a  grave  beneath  the  fast  drifting  snow.  There 
were  no  trails  or  roads  in  those  days,  and  not  a 
house  between  Fort  Laramie  and  Cache  la  Poudre. 
To  fall  behind  was  to  die  and  become  food  for  the 
wolves.  So  the  column  moved  slowly  amid  the 
snow  and  keen-cutting  blasts. 

"That  night  was  a  night  of  horrors.  About  4 
o'clock  in  the  afternoon  they  reached  a  depression 
in  the  apparently  limitless  Plains,  the  two  wagons 
halted  and  camp  was  established  to  the  windward. 
A  few  dead  willows  and  weeds  peeping  above  the 
snow,  none  of  them  thicker  than  a  pencil,  afforded 
the  only  source  of  fuel.  With  this  cheerless  pros- 
pect, amid  a  whistling,  drifting  storm  of  snow, 
Captain  Hanna  and  his  men  prepared  to  spend  the 
long,  long  night.  A  few  of  the  more  cheerful  and 
enterprising  troopers  gathered  weeds  and  willows, 
dug  away  a  hole  in  the  snow,  sat  down,  built  small 
fires  sheltered  by  their  extending  legs,  and  with 
oyster  cans  cooked  some  coffee.  Then  the  blankets 
and  buffalo  robes  were  spread  upon  the  snow,  the 
saddles  were  piled  to  break  ofE  the  wind  and  dark- 
ness came  slowly  on.  As  for  the  horses  they  seemed 
to  realize  the  desperate  situation  and,  after  hastily 
eating  their  corn,  shivering  with  their  tails  toward 
the  blast,  they,  one  after  another,  laid  down  in  their 
snowy  beds.  As  they  were  well  blanketed  and  the 
snow  swiftly  drifted  over  them,  they  were  soon 
hidden  beneath  a  snow  bank  with  nothing  visible 
except  their  heads. 

"The  men  laid  in  rows  of  ten  or  twelve  in  num- 
ber,  feet  to   the  wind ;   the  last  man  out  was   re- 


quired to  bank  up  the  snow  over  the  bed  and  then 
crawl  beneath  the  pile  of  bedding  in  the  center  of  the 
row.  He  went  in  feet  foremost,  of  course.  That 
was  a  long,  dreary  night.  Every  half  hour  or  so 
the  command  went  forth  from  the  sergeant  in  charge 
of  each  row;  'Ready,  bo5's!  Now  s-p-o-o-n!'  Then 
over  went  the  row  of  soldiers  and  by  this  means 
they  turned  over  in  bed  without  letting  in  the  cold 
air.  Towards  daylight  the  snow  commenced  to 
fall  again.  I  was  one  of  the  first  to  rise  (having 
charge  of  the  commissary  stores)  and  I  shall  never 
forget  that  cheerless  night.  The  only  sign  of  life 
to  be  seen  was  the  two  wagons,  half  hidden  in  snow, 
and  the  heads  of  sixty  or  seventy  horses  just  above 
the  snow.  The  presence  of  the  soldiers  was  indi- 
cated by  the  little  jets  of  steaming  breath  com.ing 
from  beneath  their  blankets  and  robes. 

"Hard  bread  and  frozen  bacon  was  handed 
around,  the  shivering  horses  were  fed  and  another 
long  day's  march  commenced  toward  Colorado. 
The  vitality  of  man  and  beast  seemed  to  have  been 
exhausted.  The  younger  soldiers  were  freezing  to 
death  in  their  saddles.  They  seemed  to  be  careless 
and  indifferent,  and,  oh,  so  sleepy.  Captain  Hanna 
and  his  First  Lieutenant,  Swearingen,  made  details 
of  soldiers  to  compel  those  who  were  dying  to  live 
awhile  longer.  The  mode  of  procedure  was  this: 
When  a  soldier  was  seen  to  bow  his  head  and  in- 
dicated his  desire  to  sleep,  he  was  torn  from  his 
saddle  and  then  supported  by  a  comrade  on  each 
side,  was  forcibly  pushed  or  run  along  the  trail  until 
animation  was  restored.  As  night  again  approached 
the  half  frozen  expedition  seemed  to  settle  down 
into  a  state  of  lethargic  despair.  Horses  exhausted, 
men  cold,  chilled  to  the  bone,  no  wood,  no  shelter 
from  the  piercing  blizzard,  mercury  down  to  thirty 
degrees  below  zero  and  no  prospect  of  relief  or 
shelter.  Oh,  for  a  fire  or  a  cup  of  hot  coffee.  Oh, 
for  even  the  shelter  of  a  friendly  bluff.  No;  there 
was  nothing  ahead  but  another  long,  cheerless  night 
in  the  snow. 

"How  that  night  passed  will  ever  seem  like  a 
hideous  dream  in  the  recollection  of  the  miserable 
survivors.  Chilled,  hungry,  stiff  and  sore,  the  mem- 
bers of  the  expedition  clustered  together  in  the  tree- 
less solitude  not  far  from  the  present  site  of  Chey- 
enne, Wyoming.  The  wintry  storm  showed  no 
abatement  and  death  stared  the  miserable  volunteer 
soldiers  in  the  face.  Many  had  frozen  feet,  few  were 
unfrostbitten,  all  seemed  indifferent  as  to  life.  The 
horses  seemed  lifeless ;  many  had  been  abandoned  to 
the  mercies  of  the  wolves,  the  remainder  seemed 
resigned  to  an  apparently  inevitable  fate.     New  life 


[100] 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER        COUNTY 


COLORADO 


and  courage  were  suddenly  imparted  to  the  despar- 
ing  men  by  an  order  to  unload  the  two  government 
wagons,  stack  the  stores  in  the  form  a  windbreak 
and  chop  the  wagons  into  firewood. 

"By  clustering  close  together  and  keeping  out  the 
wind  and  snow  with  bufEalo  robes,  a  fire  was  se- 
cured. Oh,  what  joy,  what  hope,  what  cheer,  the 
light  of  a  fire  imparted,  that  bitter  stormy  night  on 
the  Plains.  Then  to  have  hot,  strong,  fragrant 
coffee,  the  first  for  two  days  and  nights.  How  it 
braced  the  boys  up  for  the  long  winter  night.  A 
dozen  at  least  were  crippled  and  helpless  from  frozen 
feet  and  hands.  These  were  laid  side  by  side  and 
were  banked  over  with  snow,  after  being  cheered 
with  the  warmth  of  a  cup  of  coffee.  Food  was  a 
secondary  consideration ;  heat  was  the  vital  neces- 
sity. Two  fires  were  built  and  about  these  a  circle 
was  formed  and  robes  and  blankets  spread  over 
the  shoulders  of  the  crouching  soldiers.  Even  then 
this  living  windbreak  was  insufficient  to  prevent 
the  wind  sweeping  away  the  fire.  Embers  and  ashes 
there  were  none — the  storm  swept  all  away.  Men 
sat  that  night  and  saw  their  stockings  burn  upon 
their  feet  without  feeling  the  pain  of  the  fire,  so 
cold  were  they  and  so  benumbed  their  frozen  limbs. 
But  daylight  came  at  last  and  with  it  the  sun.  Oh, 
what  joy  and  cheer  came  up  with  that  orb  from  be- 
yond the  eastern  snow  banks.  It  brought  to  each 
a  hope  of  life  and  a  possible  return  sometime  to  the 
comforts  of  civilization. 

"More  than  half  the  command  was  found  to  be 
frosted  and  unable  to  walk.  More  than  half  the 
horses  which  left  Fort  Laramie  a  few  days  before 
in  good  condition  were  either  dead  or  too  weak  to 
carry  a  rider.  An  early  start  was  made,  a  long 
march  was  made.  To  halt  meant  death  to  all. 
Stores,  arms  and  saddles  had  been  stacked  in  the 
snow  and  abandoned.  In  the  light  marching  order 
the  column  pushed  on  for  the  Cache  la  Poudre.  The 
sight  of  the  scattered  cottonvi^oods  upon  that  stream 
was  a  welcome  sight  to  man  and  beast.  It  meant 
life  and  comfort.  The  expedition  struck  the  Poudre 
valley  about  ten  miles  below  Fort  Collins,  and  be- 
fore noon  the  next  day  the  demoralized  column 
reached  the  little  cluster  of  cabins  called  Fort  Col- 
lins. Never  did  that  beautiful  valley  appear  more 
glorious  and  fascinating  than  it  did  that  bright, 
keen,  sunny  morning  in  January,  1865,  when  Capt. 
J.  W.  Hanna's  command  made  its  first  advent  in 
Colorado.  Most  of  the  frosted  men  recovered  the 
use  of  their  limbs  and  performed  good  and  gallant 
service  the  next  summer  with  General  Connor  on 
his  Tongue  river  expedition." 


The  Captain  J.  W.  Hanna  mentioned  in  the  fore- 
going narrative  of  exposure  and  suffering  was  a 
foster  brother,  of  Alderman  Thomas  L.  Moore  of 
Fort  Collins,  and  has  often  visited  the  scene  of  his 
experiences  as  a  soldier  in  the  Cache  la  Poudre 
valley.  He  was  Speaker  of  the  House  of  Repre- 
sentatives of  the  Colorado  General  Assembly  in  the 
winter  of  1891. 

Indian  Scare  on  Upper  Boxelder 
and  What  Came  of  It 

Shortly  after  Isaac  Adair  and  family  settled  on 
Upper  Boxelder  in  1875,  the  few  scattered  settlers 
of  that  district  became  greatly  alarmed  over  a  threat- 
ened raid  by  a  marauding  band  of  Sioux  Indians. 
The  story  goes,  and  it  is  a  true  one,  that  the  band  of 
redskins  swooped  down  to  capture  and  run  off  a 
bunch  of  horses  owned  by  a  banker  in  Cheyenne, 
named  Kent,  which  he  had  on  the  range  near  the  set- 
tlement. They  succeeded  in  running  off  a  large  num- 
ber of  horses.  Of  course,  the  settlers  were  afraid  the 
savages  would  return  and  made  hasty  preparations 
to  give  them  a  warm  reception. 

Adair  secured  two  rifles  and  two  double  barreled 
shot  guns  with  which  to  repell  the  anticipated  at- 
tack. A  few  days  later,  Mr.  Adair  and  his  hired 
man,  Jacob  McAffee,  went  to  look  after  a  pit  of 
charcoal  he  had  burning  about  a  mile  from  the 
family  cabin.  They  took  the  two  rifles  with  them, 
leaving  the  shotguns  with  Mrs.  Adair,  charging  her 
to  keep  them  loaded  and  be  on  the  lookout  for 
Indians.  The  men  had  not  been  gone  from  the 
cabin  more  than  two  hours,  when  Mrs.  Adair  saw  a 
band  of  horsem.en  riding  rapidly  toward  the  cabin. 
They  were  so  far  away  that  she  could  not  make  out 
whether  they  were  Indians  or  white  men,  but  be- 
lieving they  were  Indians  she  ran  into  the  cabin, 
barred  the  doors  and  windows,  hastily  loaded  the 
shotguns,  siezed  a  hatchet  and  was  about  to  knock 
out  some  of  the  chinking  between  some  of  the  logs 
to  make  loop  holes  through  which  to  shoot,  when  the 
horsemen  rode  up  to  the  cabin.  She  saw  at  once 
they  were  white  men  but  did  not  recognize  any  of 
them.  One  of  the  men,  who  afterwards  proved  to 
be  James  A.  Brown  of  Fort  Collins,  seeing  that  she 
was  terribly  excited  and  about  to  faint,  said  to  her 
"What  in  the  name  of  common  sense  is  the  matter 
witn  you?"  She  replied  with  a  stammering  tongue, 
I-I  th-th-thought  you  were  Indians."  The  party 
proved  to  be  cowboys  on  the  round-up  in  charge 
of  Mr.  Brown  and  C.  B.  Mendenhall  of  Fort 
Collins. 


[101] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


When  the  excitement  had  somewhat  subsided  the 
cowboys  examined  the  shotguns  and  found  about 
one  foot  of  powder  and  buckshot  jammed  into  each 
barrel,  which  Mrs.  Adair,  in  her  fear  and  haste, 
thought  was  the  proper  charge  for  Indians.  The 
charges  were  removed  by  fastening  the  butts  of  the 
guns  against  the  axle  of  a  wagon,  cocking  the  guns 
and  tying  strings  to  the  triggers  of  sufficient  length 
to  enable  one  to  get  out  of  the  danger  zone,  and 
then  by  pulling  the  strings,  the  guns  were  discharged 
without  doing  much  damage.  The  settlers  were 
never  troubled  by  Indians  after  that. 

Early  Day  Echoes 

If  Harmon  Mann's  memory  serves  him  right,  it 
was  about  1866  that  the  troops  were  withdrawn 
from  the  garrison  at  Fort  Collins.  Prior  to  that 
time  they  were  maintained  there  to  guard  against 
any  outbreak  of  the  Indians  of  whom  there  were 
not  a  great  many  abiding  in  the  country.  As  a  rule, 
they  were  never  contented  to  remain  in  one  section, 
generally  keeping  on  the  move  from  one  part  of  the 
country  to  another  and  it  was  never  known  when  a 
whole  tribe  would  swoop  down  upon  the  settlement 
from  nobody  knows  where. 

After  many  annoyances  from  these  Indians  who 
did  remain  in  these  parts,  the  aid  of  the  Government 
was  invoked  to  put  a  stop  to  their  depredations. 
Accordingly  the  Indians  were  ordered  to  stay  at  all 
times  in  sight  of  the  garrison  at  Camp  Collins  if 
they  chose  to  remain  in  the  country  at  all.  An 
open  season  was  declared  upon  any  Indian  straying 
beyond  a  distance  of  four  miles  from  the  camp,  and 
the  whites  were  allowed  to  shoot  any  found  out- 
side of  that  pale  on  sight,  providing  the  Indian 
didn't  see  the  white  man  and  pull  the  trigger  first. 

Mr.  Mann  recalls  the  thrilling  experience  of  a 
lieutenant  who  went  out  one  day  hunting  while 
this  order  was  in  effect.  Seeing  an  Indian  out  on 
the  bluffs  hunting  he  decided  to  capture  and  march 
him  into  camp.  Approaching  the  Indian  he  shoved 
a  pistol  in  his  face  and  ordered  him  to  surrender. 
But  the  Indian  was  very  athletic  and  quick  with  a 
gun.  Before  the  lieutenant  realized  it,  his  gun 
was  taken  from  him  and  the  Indian  was  marching 
him  to  his  wigwam.  He  was  not  harmed,  but  for 
a  long  time  he  had  to  bear  the  blunt  of  the  joke  that 
was  turned  so  unexpectedly  upon  him.  This  same 
Indian  afterwards  proved  himself  a  better  man 
physically  in  many  respects  than  some  of  the  boast- 
ful soldiers.  An  officer  who  sneeringly  remarked 
that  he   could  outrun   any  Indian  was  laughed  to 

[102] 


scorn  by  this  fleet  redskin,  who  ran  the  officer  a  race 
and  performed  the  feat  with  a  blanket  wrapped 
about  him. — Windsor  Poudre  Valley,  February, 
1909. 

How  Abner  Loomis  Lost  a  Mule 

The  following  interesting  sketch  of  an  early  day 
incident  appeared  in  the  Loveland  Reporter  in 
January,  1887.  I  do  not  vouch  for  the  truth  of 
the  story,  but  tell  it  as  it  was  told  in  the  Reporter, 
adding  however  that  it  bears  the  ear  marks  of  truth. 
The  man  Musgrove  was  widely  known  in  the  early 
days  as  the  head  of  a  gang  of  horse  thieves  who  in- 
fested the  country  along  in  the  60's,  and  who  was 
hung  in  Denver  in  1868  by  a  mob,  for  his  misdeeds. 
As  is  told  elsewhere  in  this  book,  Mr.  Loomis  had 
much  to  do  with  Musgrove's  capture  and  final  sur- 
render to  the  Denver  authorities: 

"Few  people  knowing  Ab.  Loomis  of  Fort  Col- 
lins," said  the  Reporter,  "today  would  at  all  suspect 
that  in  the  early  days  of  Colorado,  he  was  noted  as 
a  man  of  great  courage  and  nerve,  but  such  is  the 
fact.  Any  of  the  old-timers  hereabout  remember 
the  time  when  he  was  esteemed  a  bad  man  to  fool 
with.  He  was  never  quarrelsome,  nor  would  he 
in  any  way  incite  a  row,  but  when  a  tough  wanted 
to  bully  anybody  he  invariably  passed  Ab.  Loomis 
as  a  man  too  dangerous  for  his  business.  Loomis 
was  taken  at  a  disadvantage  at  one  time  however. 
Everybody  had  heard  of  Musgrove,  who  had  a 
gang  of  horse-thieves  with  headquarters  in  Poudre 
canon  part  of  the  time,  and  part  of  the  time  near 
St.  Cloud.  The  story  of  how  Musgrove  become  a 
horse  thief  and  outlaw  as  told  by  his  followers  is  to 
the  effect  that  he  wished  to  retaliate  and  get  revenge 
for  the  way  the  United  States  government  had 
used  him.  He  used  to  own  a  train  of  freighting 
teams  and  at  one  time  ventured  among  the  Indians 
on  the  Laramie  Plains.  Government  officials 
searched  his  wagons,  and  finding  whiskey,  confis- 
cated the  whole  train  and  threw  Musgrove  into 
the  guardhouse.  There  he  was  compelled  to  per- 
form menial  duties,  such  as  cleaning  the  office 
quarters,  emptying  the  spittoons  and  other  dirty 
work.  When  he  escaped  from  confinement  he  went 
into  the  business  of  stealing  government  property, 
particularly  horses  and  mules,  at  every  opportunity. 
He  and  his  gang  always  claimed  that  they  never 
took  anything  from  private  citizens,  but  the  record 
is  not  exactly  clear  on  this  point.  At  any  rate  the 
gang  was  looked  upon  with  suspicion  by  not  only 
government  officials  but  by  the  settlers  as  well. 
To  arrest  Musgrove  and  break  up  his  gang  if  pos- 


HISTORY    OF    LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


sible,  a  Deputy  United  States  Marshal  came  from 
Denver,  and  while  in  search  of  evidence  visited  Mr. 
Loomis'  ranch  in  Pleasant  valley,  going  thence  to 
Laporte  where  he  went  into  the  saloon  and  billiard 
hall  kept  by  Ben.  Claymore  and  John  B.  Provost, 
and  called  for  a  drink.  The  building  that  housed 
the  saloon  is  now  owned  and  occupied  by  Rowland 
Herring  and  family  as  a  residence. 

Musgrove's  gang  were  all  in  the  saloon  at  the 
time  playing  billiards,  and  the  walls  were  lined 
with  shot  guns  and  the  chairs  covered  with  pistols, 
belts,  cartridges  and  other  paraphernalia.  The 
appearance  of  the  saloon,  its  occupants  and  its 
equipments  satisfied  the  deputy  marshal  that  his 
company  could  be  spared,  so  he  quietly  withdrew 
without  waiting  for  his  order  for  a  drink  to  be 
filled.  Mounting  his  horse  the  oflficer  rode  away 
towards  Denver  at  top  speed. 

Musgrove,  hearing  that  the  deputy  m.arshal  had 
visited  Loomis,  resolved  that  he,  too,  wanted  to  see 
Mr.  Loomis.  One  morning,  just  after  Mr.  Loomis 
had  hitched  a  fine  mule  that  had  cost  him  $250,  to 
his  gate  post  and  was  going  into  the  house  for 
breakfast,  Musgrove  rode  up  with  his  shotgun  on 
the  pommel  of  his  saddle.  Loomis  invited  him  into 
breakfast,  and  the  visitor  raised  in  his  saddle  as  if 
to  dismount  when  the  gun  went  off  and  shot  the 
mule.  Musgrove  apologized,  saying  it  was  an  acci- 
dent and  that  he  would  replace  the  animal  with  a 
government  mule  "that  you  can  sell  as  easily  as  this 
one."  At  this,  he  rode  ofE  at  full  speed.  Mr. 
Loomis'  first  impulse  was  to  shoot  the  scoundrel, 
but  he  stopped  to  examine  his  mule  and  when  he 
looked  up  Musgrove  was  out  of  sight.  The  fol- 
lowing year  Mr.  Loomis  got  even  by  laying  a  trap 
for  Musgrove  which  resulted  in  his  capture  in  1868 
and  subsequent  hanging  from  Cherry  Creek  bridge 
in  Denver. 

Demolishing  a  Frontier  Relic 

The  Fort  Collins  Courier  of  December  30,  1886, 
contained  the  following  reminder  of  the  days  when 
the  soldiers  were  stationed  at  Camp  Collins,  more 
than  forty-five  years  ago: 

"The  work  of  demolishing  the  only  remaining 
relic  of  the  days  when  the  soldiers  under  Col.  W. 
O.  .Collins  were  the  only  inhabitants  of  this  city, 
was  begun  this  morning.  The  old  log  building 
standing  on  the  alley  back  of  the  Tedmon  house, 
the  last  one  left  of  the  half  dozen  or  more  erected 
by  the  soldiers  of  1864  for  winter  quarters,  is  about 
to  disappear.     And  with  it  disappears  every  vestige 


and  sign  of  what  was  known  as  Camp  Collins,  ex- 
cept a  lingering  memory  existing  with  a  few  old- 
timers.  In  August,  1864,  Col.  Collins  of  the  11th 
Ohio  volunteer  cavalry,  Commander  of  the  Dis- 
trict of  the  Platte,  with  headquarters  at  Fort 
Laramie,  came  to  the  Cache  la  Poudre  valley  in 
search  of  a  location  for  a  military  post,  and  being 
pleased  with  the  situation,  established  here  a  post 
thenceforward  known  from  his  name  as  Fort  Col- 
lins. From  that  time  until  its  abandonment  for  this 
use,  from  two  to  six  companies  of  infantry  and  cav- 
alry were  stationed  here  to  curb  the  Indians  and 
protect  the  Overland  stages,  the  scanty  settlements 
and  the  emigrants  continually  passing  this  way. 

"A  military  reservation,  upon  which  Fort  Collins 
now  stands,  was  surveyed  and  set  apart  by  the  gov- 
ernment in  1864.  Necessary  buildings  were  put  up 
for  the  accommodation  of  the  officers  and  soldiers, 
and  the  nucleus  of  a  settlement  was  thus  formed. 
The  building  that  Mr.  James  A.  Brown  is  tearing 
down  was  one  of  these,  and  was  occupied  as  officers' 
quarters.  It  is  a  one-story  log  building  and  stands 
facing  Long's  Peak.  On  the  north  end,  close  up 
under  the  gable,  a  rude  balcony  was  constructed, 
containing  just  about  space  enough  for  one  person. 
This  used  to  be  Col.  Collins'  favorite  seat.  It 
commanded  a  good  view  of  the  river,  the  valley  and 
the  bluffs  beyond.  On  the  departure  of  the  soldiers 
in  June,  1866,  W.  D.  Hayes,  now  of  Hastings, 
Mich.,  became  the  owner  of  the  house  and  lot  on 
which  it  stands.  Mr.  Hayes  is  well  and  kindly 
remembered  by  all  the  old-timers,  all  of  whom  were 
his  warm  friends.  Mrs.  Hayes  is  a  sister  of  Mrs. 
A.  J.  Ames,  with  whom  she  spent  several  weeks  in 
1885.  Mr.  Hayes  sold  the  property  in  1868  to 
James  A.  Brown,  who  still  owns  it.  In  this  old 
house  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Brown  first  set  up  housekeep- 
ing, and  here  is  where  their  first  child  was  born. 
At  that  time  Mr.  Brown  was  interested  with  his 
brother,  John  R.  Brown,  in  a  blacksmith  shop, 
which  stood  on  the  corner  of  Jefferson  and  Pine 
streets,  across  the  street  east  of  the  old  Grout 
livery  stable." 

It  was  in  this  house  that  Agnes  Mason  (now 
Mrs.  E.  C.  Gildings),  the  first  white  child  born 
in  Fort  Collins,  first  saw  the  light  of  day,  on  the 
31st  of  October,  1867;  and  in  this  house,  on  the 
3Gth  of  December,  1866,  was  solemnized  the  mar- 
riage of  Mr.  Harris  Stratton  and  Mrs.  Elizazeth 
Keays,  their's  being  the  first  wedding  celebrated  in 
Fort  Collins.  A  good  many  tender  memories  cling 
to  that  old  house  of  days  that  are  gone  never  to  re- 
turn, and  of  joys  that  are  passed." 

[103] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


Lynching  of  Musgrove 

In  the  early  days  the  crime  of  horse  stealing  was 
considered  almost,  if  not  quite  equal,  in  enormity 
to  that  of  murder,  and  it  is  stated  as  a  fact  that 
more  men  suffered  death  for  horse  stealing  than 
were  executed  for  taking  human  life.  A  short 
shrift  was  given  the  horse  thief  when  apprehended 
and  the  evidence  of  his  guilt  were  deemed  sufficient 
by  Judge  Lynch  to  justify  death  by  hanging.  Pos- 
session of  stolen  horses  or  mules  was  usually  con- 
sidered good  enough  grounds  for  inflicting  the 
death  penalty  and  the  execution  promptly  followed. 
Judge  Lynch  was  inflexible  in  his  rulings  and  there 
was  no  appeal  when  he  pronounced  sentence. 
While  it  is  true  that  a  number  of  men  were  put  to 
death  in  the  early  days  for  this  offense,  it  is  not  re- 
corded and  not  believed  that  any  innocent  persons 
suffered  the  death  penalty  at  the  hands  of  an  out- 
raged, law-abiding  community.  In  most  cases  the 
accused  was  given  a  hearing  before  a  self-  con- 
stituted tribunal  of  citizens  and  an  opportunity  to 
clear  himself  of  the  charge,  but  it  oftentimes  hap- 
pened that  the  horse  thief  was  caught  red-handed 
and  launched  before  his  Maker  from  the  limb  of 
the  nearest  Cottonwood  tree  or  the  cross-bar  of  a 
telegraph  pole.  While  lynch  law  in  a  civilized 
community  cannot  be  justified  by  any  rule  of  right 
or  reason,  there  seems  to  be  no  other  satisfactory 
way  for  an  unorganized  community,  without  courts 
or  officers  of  the  law,  to  protect  itself  against  the 
depredations  of  outlaws,  brigands  and  desperadoes. 
It  may,  therefore,  be  said,  with  a  semblance  of 
justice,  that  the  early  settlers  of  Colorado  were 
morally,  at  least,  justified  in  resorting  to  extreme 
measures  in  defending  themselves  and  their  property 
from  molestations  by  marauders  and  in  appealing  to 
lynch  law  as  a  means  of  ridding  the  country  of  un- 
desirable characters.  Provisions  and  supplies  for 
the  early  settlers  had  to  be  carried  in  wagons  a  dis- 
tance of  six  hundred  miles,  and  if  their  teams  were 
stolen  en  route  or  driven  from  ranches  by  thieves, 
they  were  placed  at  great  disadvantage  and  often 
made  to  suffer  the  pangs  of  hunger  or  death  from 
starvation.  Hence  a  horse  thief  was  looked  upon  as 
being  but  little  if  any  better  than  a  murderer. 

In  the  summer  of  1868  a  gang  of  robbers  and 
horse  thieves  established  a  camp  at  Bonnar  Springs, 
an  almost  inaccessible  natural  rock  fortress,  situated 
in  the  hills  a  short  distance  west  of  Owl  canon  on 
the  road  to  Livermore.  From  their  headquarters 
at  this  point  the  gang  operated  in  Southern  Wyom- 
ing and  Northern  Colorado,  stealing  and  running 

[104] 


off  horses  and  cattle.  Government  property  suf- 
fering the  most  from  their  depredations.  There 
was  great  temptation  in  those  days  to  steal  govern- 
ment horses  and  mules  as  these  animals  could  be 
readily  sold  at  remunerative  prices.  A  pair  of  mules 
brought  from  $350  to  $700  and  no  questions  asked. 
Musgrove  and  his  gang  gave  the  army  officers  much 
annoyance  and  finally  a  reward  was  offered  for  his 
apprehension.  Much  of  the  stealing  and  running 
off  of  stock  that  was  laid  to  the  Indians  that  year 
was  really  done  by  Musgrove  and  his  gang  of  out- 
laws. During  the  month  of  September,  1864,  the 
beef  herd  at  Fort  Fred  Steele,  numbering  fifty 
head,  was  run  off  in  the  night  and  while  an  effort 
was  made  to  recapture  them,  not  a  hoof  was  dis- 
covered. During  the  month  of  October  all  the 
cavalry  horses  belonging  to  the  cavalry  company 
at  the  fort  were  supposed  to  have  been  taken  by 
Musgrove's  gang.  It  was  strongly  suspected  at  the 
time  that  the  soldiers  on  guard  were  connected  with 
the  affair,  as  they  had  disappeared  with  the  horses 
and  there  was  no  evidence  that  they  had  been  killed. 
As  soon  as  the  loss  was  discovered,  mounted  men 
were  sent  in  pursuit  of  the  thieves,  but  they  came 
back  empty  handed.  A  number  of  other  raids 
were  made  soon  after  and  in  each  case  small  bunches 
of  horses  and  mules  were  taken.  The  quarter- 
masters' office  at  the  fort  was  in  a  tent  and  was 
supplied  with  a  safe.  Thieves  cut  open  the  tent 
one  night  with  a  knife  and  removed  the  safe,  carry- 
ing it  to  a  gulch  some  distance  away  where  it  was 
blown  open  and  the  money  it  contained,  $1,800, 
secured  by  the  thieves.  The  stealing  of  the  safe 
could  not,  of  course,  be  charged  to  the  Indians  and 
an  effort  was  then  made  to  break  up  the  organized 
gang  of  outlaws  that  infested  the  country.  Mus- 
grove, who  was  believed  to  be  the  leader  of  the 
brigands,  came  in  for  a  full  share  of  attention.  At 
last,  through  the  efforts  of  the  late  Abner  Loomis 
of  Fort  Collins,  Musgrove  was  apprehended.  Mr. 
Loomis  had  known  Musgrove  several  years  and  had 
sold  him  vegetables  from  his  farm  in  Pleasant  val- 
ley and  had  told  the  outlaw  that  if  he  ever  stole  a 
horse  or  mule  belonging  to  a  settler  in  the  Cache  la 
Poudre  valley  the  ranchmen  would  organize,  hunt 
him  down  and  hang  him.  This  admonition  had  the 
desired  effect,  for,  so  far  as  is  known,  not  a  ranch- 
man in  the  valley  ever  had  an  animal  stolen  by.  the 
gang.  Knowing  that  a  price  had  been  set  on  Mus- 
grove's head  and  that  the  whole  country  was  an- 
xious to  get  rid  of  him,  Mr.  Loomis  decided  to  ef- 
fect his  capture,  which  he  did  by  resorting  to  strat- 
agem.     In   the   latter   part  of   October,    1868,   he 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


started  for  Musgrove's  rendezvous  on  horseback, 
unarmed  and  unattended.  On  approaching  the 
the  camp,  Musgrove,  gun  in  hand,  halted  him  and 
asked  if  he  was  armed.  Mr.  Loomis  replied  he  was 
not,  but  had  come  on  a  peaceful  mission.  Being 
assured  that  his  visitor  was  unarmed,  Musgrove  al- 
lowed him  to  enter  the  camp.  Mr.  Loomis  then 
told  Musgrove  where  he  could  find  a  valuable  horse, 
which  had  strayed  from  the  outlaw's  band  a  few 
days  before.  The  animal,  he  said,  was  in  a  neigh- 
bor's field  and  that  Musgrove  could  get  the  horse 
by  going  after  him.  Being  lulled  into  security  by 
the  belief  that  a  man  who  would  take  so  much 
pains  to  do  him  a  favor  must  be  a  friend,  Musgrove 
accompanied  Mr.  Loomis  to  the  valley  to  get  his 
horse.  They  stopped  at  Mr.  Loomis'  house  for  sup- 
per, and  while  they  were  eating.  Officer  Haskell 
from  Denver,  entered  the  house  with  gun  in  hand 
and  ordered  the  brigand  to  throw  up  his  hands, 
which  order  was  promptly  obeyed.  Haskell  had 
been  told  to  conceal  himself  near  the  house  and  be 
ready  to  make  the  capture  while  supper  was  being 
served.  He  ironed  his  prisoner,  took  him  to  Den- 
ver and  lodged  him  in  the  Larimer  street  prison. 
Musgrove  arrived  in  Denver  at  rather  an  unfort- 
unate time  for  himself,  as  the  people  of  that  city 
had  lately  been  devoting  their  attention  to  the  clean- 
ing out  of  outlaw  gangs.  Sam  Dungan,  another 
outlaw,  who  had  been  driven  out  of  Cheyenne  and 
Laramie  City  by  threats  of  lynching,  had  just  held 
up  and  robbed  an  old  man  named  Orson  Brooks  of 
about  $125,  and  had  been  hanged  by  the  citizens. 
The  day  after  the  execution  of  Dungan,  a  vigilance 
committee  formed  on  Blake  street  in  the  afternoon 
and  in  an  orderly  procession  marched  to  the  prison 
and  demanded  the  person  of  Musgrove.  When  the 
door  opened  to  admit  the  leader,  the  prisoner  sus- 
pecting their  purpose  seized  a  billet  of  wood  and 
stood  at  bay,  defying  them  to  take  him.  Revolvers 
were  drawn  and  several  shots  fired  at  him,  but 
owing  to  the  excitement,  none  took  effect.  After  a 
short  but  sharp  struggle,  Musgrove  was  over- 
powered and  taken  to  the  Larimer  street  bridge  over 
Cherry  creek,  where  preparations  had  been  made 
for  the  lynching.  Realizing  his  doom,  he  resolved 
to  meet  it  bravely.  His  request  to  be  permitted  to 
write  a  hasty  note  to  a  friend  was  granted.  The 
message,  written  with  a  pencil  on  the  railing,  was 
soon  finished,  when  he  was  put  into  a  wagon  and 
driven  into  the  bed  of  the  creek  under  the  bridge, 
from  one  of  the  floor  timbers  of  which  dangled  a 
rope.  Here  he  was  bound,  hands  and  feet  and  the 
noose  adjusted  about  his  neck,  when  the  order  was 


given  to  drive  the  wagon  from  under  him.  To 
make  death  certain  and  immediate,  Musgrove 
sprang  into  the  air  and  when  he  fell  his  neck  was 
broken,  his  death  being  comparatively  painless. 

Speaking  of  the  lynching  of  Musgrove,  the  Rocky 
Mountain  News  commented  at  the  time  as  follows : 

"Musgrove  was  an  outlaw  who  had  made  society 
his  prey  for  several  years,  successively  defying  by 
boldness,  when  he  could  not  outwit  by  cunning,  the 
officers  of  justice.  He  was  driven  as  a  bandit  from 
California,  Nevada  and  Utah  and  first  appeared 
in  Colorado  in  the  role  of  a  murderer  at  Fort 
Halleck  in  1863.  For  this  he  was  arrested  and  sent 
to  Denver,  where  he  was  discharged  by  the  United 
States  Commissioner  for  want  of  jurisdiction.  Tak- 
ing up  his  residence  on  Clear  Creek  at  Baker's 
bridge,  he  soon  became  the  recognized  chief  of  a 
band  of  land  pirates,  who  lived  by  running  off  gov- 
ernment stock,  effacing  the  brand  and  then  dis- 
posing of  it. 

"The  charge  which  exasperated  the  people  was 
that  of  his  having  been  the  leader  of  one  of  the 
bands  of  Indians  which  ravaged  our  settlement  last 
fall.  As  he  was  taken  from  the  jail  he  said,  'I  sup- 
pose you  are  going  to  hang  me  because  I've  been  an 
Indian  chief.  Deprecate  the  course  as  we  will  the 
fact  remains,  that  the  people  resorted  to  violence 
because  the  criminal  laws  did  not  afford  the  protec- 
tion which  the  people  had  a  right  to  demand  of 
them." 

Hall's  history  of  Colorado,  closed  an  extended 
comment  on  the  violent  death  of  Musgrove  in  the 
following  terms:  "In  the  early  times  as  they  are 
called,  the  people  endured  many  atrocities  with  rea- 
sonable patience,  but  when  some  especially  heinous 
assault  was  made  upon  their  rights,  their  wrath  ex- 
ceeded all  bounds  and  instantly  rendered  a  judg- 
ment from  which  there  was  neither  escape  nor 
appeal." 

I  am  indebted  for  some  of  the  facts  stated  in  Mus- 
grove's career  to  Halls'  History  of  Colorado  and  to 
Coutant's  History  of  Wyoming.  The  account  of 
the  manner  of  Musgrove's  arrest  was  given  me  by 
Mr.  Loomis  a  good  many  years  ago. 

Stories  of  Early  Days 

Robert  J.  Spotswood,  who  died  at  his  home  in 
Littleton,  Colorado,  in  June,  1910,  was  express 
messenger  and  later  Division  Superintendent  on  the 
Old  Overland  Stage  line,  and  personally  knew 
many  of  the  famous  characters  who  added  the  spice 


[105] 


HISTORY    OF    LARIMER    COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


of  romance  to  the  old  frontier.  Said  the  Rocky 
Mountain  News  at  the  time  of  Mr.  Spotswood's 
death : 

"Mr.  Spotswood  succeeded  the  notorious  Joseph 
A.  Slade,  the  man-killer  who  was  described  so  pict- 
uresquely by  Mark  Twain,  as  superintendent  of  the 
Julesburg  division  of  the  Overland  stage  line.  It 
was  on  this  division  that  Slade  made  his  reputation 
as  a  man-killer.  He  was  put  in  charge  of  the  divi- 
sion at  a  time  when  the  depredations  of  Indians  and 
outlaws  along  the  division  made  travel  a  matter  of 
peril.  The  company  realized  that  somebody  would 
have  to  be  put  in  charge  who  could  take  hold  with 
a  firm  hand,  and  Slade  proved  to  be  the  man  for 
the  post.  He  killed  right  and  left,  and  soon  the 
Indians  and  outlaws  learned  to  give  his  division  a 
wide  berth. 

"In  justice  to  Slade  it  should  be  said  that  he  was 
a  perfect  gentleman  except  when  under  the  control 
of  liquor,"  said  Mr.  Spotswood  a  short  time  ago. 
"He  was  a  quiet-spoken  and  most  agreeable  man 
when  sober,  hut  was  a  fiend  incarnate  when  drunk. 
He  worked  faithfully  and  well  for  the  company  and 
he  soon  had  the  reputation  of  bringing  his  stages 
through  on  time.  Eventually,  however,  liquor  be- 
gan getting  the  upper  hand  of  him,  and  the  officials 
of  the  company  realized  that  they  would  have  to 
let  him  out,  as  his  outbreaks  were  beginning  to 
create  a  good  deal  of  complaint. 

"When  I  received  the  appointment  as  superin- 
tendent of  the  division  to  succeed  Slade,  my  friends 
in  Denver  bade  me  good-bye  almost  tearfully.  It 
was  predicted  that  I  would  never  return  to  Denver 
alive.  'Slade  will  kill  you  rather  than  yield  his 
post,'  I  was  told,  but  I  answered  that  the  killing 
would  have  to  take  place  as  there  was  nothing  for 
me  to  do  but  go  ahead  and  obey  the  company's 
orders. 

"The  division  headquarters  at  that  time  was 
Virginia  Dale,  about  100  miles  northwest  of  Den- 
ver. Slade  made  that  place  his  headquarters  when 
the  Overland  route  was  moved  south  to  include 
Denver.  It  was  a  beautiful  and  romantic  spot  on 
Dale  creek,  and  Slade  had  named  it  for  his  wife,  a 
handsome  and  charming  woman.  When  I  arrived 
at  Virginia  Dale  and  told  my  mission,  there  was 
no  wild  outbreak  on  Slade's  part.  He  bowed  to 
the  will  of  the  company  without  a  word,  and  he  and 
his  wife  did  everything  in  their  power  to  make  my 
stay  agreeable  during  the  next  two  or  three  days. 
Slade  made  an  accounting  and  turned  over  every- 
thing in  good  shape.  His  own  stock  he  separated 
from  that  belonging  to  the  company.    He  had  many 

[106] 


horses  and  mules  and  wagons,  and  took  them  to 
Montana,  as  the  Virginia  City  boom  was  on,  and  he 
told  me  he  intended  to  return  to  his  old  business  as 
a  freighter. 

"It  so  happened  that  a  year  later  I  was  trans- 
ferred to  Virginia  City,  where  Slade  had  been 
freighting.  He  had  made  a  great  deal  of  money 
and  had  a  fine  ranch  near  Virginia  City,  but  his  old 
habits  were  too  strong  for  him.  He  had  killed 
several  persons  during  his  wild  outbreaks,  and, 
after  several  warnings  had  proved  unavailing,  the 
vigilantes  took  him  out  and  hanged  him  in  1864." 

Mr.  Spotswood  ran  as  express  messenger  between 
Atchison  and  Denver  at  the  beginning  of  his  career 
on  the  Overland,  and  faced  countless  hardships  and 
perils.  The  express  coaches  carried  no  passengers, 
but  were  filled  with  packages.  They  were  especial 
prey  of  highwaymen,  and  the  messenger's  life  was 
one  of  constant  peril.  The  trip  consumed  six  days 
and  nights,  and  Mr.  Spotswood  usually  slept  by 
buckling  himself  with  straps  in  the  rear  boot  of  the 
coach  to  avoid  being  jolted  out  while  he  caught  a 
few  naps.  He  was  acquainted  with  all  the  famous 
characters  of  frontier  days  in  Kansas,  and  was  a 
close  friend  of  "Buffalo  Bill"  Comstock,  the  scout 
and  buffalo  hunter  w\\o  was  the  first  to  bear  that 
descriptive  name.  In  later  years  Comstock  aided  Mr. 
Spotswood  in  running  down  a  desperado,  who  had 
committed  an  unprovoked  murder  at  one  of  the 
stage  stations  and  had  hidden  himself  in  the  wilder- 
ness, defying  all  the  efforts  of  the  soldiers  at  Fort 
Halleck  to  capture  him.  At  Mr.  Spotswood's  re- 
quest, Comstock  disguised  himself  as  an  Indian  and 
took  the  trail.  He  had  lived  most  of  his  life  with 
the  Sioux,  and  was  probably  the  greatest  scout  and 
trailer  the  West  ever  knew.  Comstock  in  a  day  or 
two  had  captured  the  murderer  and  delivered  him 
to  the  commandant  at  Fort  Halleck,  where  the 
desperado  was  hanged. 

Charles  Clay's  Thrilling  Experience 
With  Indians 

Charles  Clay,  the  pioneer  colored  man  of  the 
Cache  la  Poudre  valley,  who  started  the  first  barber 
shop  at  Laporte,  related  the  following  account  of 
his  life  and  experience  in  the  West  to  a  reporter 
and  it  was  printed  in  the  Fort  Collins  Courier  in 
1909.  In  this  story,  Mr.  Clay  makes  the  claim 
that  "as  near  as  he  could  get  at  it"  he  was  born  in 
1810,  but  in  a  former  interview  with  him  that  was 
printed  in  1900,  it  was  figured  out  he  was  born  in 
1828.    At  any  rate,  he  was  a  very  old  man  when  he 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


died  on  August  31st,  1910,  and  it  is  possible  that 
the  latest  story  of  his  birth  is  correct.  He  well 
remembered  events  of  which  he  was  cognizant  in 
the  early  days  and  the  dates  he  gives  correspond 
with  those  of  other  authorities.  The  story  prac- 
tically as  he  told  it  being  as  follows: 

"I  was  born  in  Calloway  County,  Missouri,  near 
what  is  now  the  town  of  Fulton,  as  near  as  I  can 
get  at  it,  October  10,  1810.  My  parents  were  slaves 
and  I  was  born  in  slavery,  being  the  property  of 
John  W.  Robinson,  a  wealthy  planter.  I  lived  the 
usual  life  of  the  slaves  and  was  freed  with  the  rest 
of  them  by  Mr.  Lincoln's  proclamation.  I  had  gone 
to  St.  Louis  at  the  outbreak  of  the  war  and  there  I 
got  a  place  as  cook  with  a  party  headed  by  Richard 
Overall,  that  started  for  California,  overland  in  the 
late  summer  of  1861.  We  got  as  far  as  Fort  Lara- 
mie, where  I  got  a  job  cooking  for  the  soldiers.  I 
came  to  Fort  Collins  in  1864  with  the  soldiers,  this 
being  an  army  post  at  the  time.  From  here  I  went 
to  Laporte,  where  I  started  a  barber  shop,  the  first 
one  in  the  Poudre  valley.  There  I  shaved  many 
men  who  were  prominent  in  those  days  along  the 
Overland  trail,  among  them  Jack  Slade,  the  man- 
killer,  who  was  afterwards  lynched  up  in  Montana. 
Others  I  remember  were  Bill  Updyke,  the  stage 
driver;  Bob  Saunders,  wagon  boss;  Bob  Spotswood, 
division  agent  for  the  Overland,  and  William  S. 
Taylor,  who  ran  the  hotel  at  Laporte.  I  worked  for 
him  as  cook  for  a  while  and  had  the  honor  of  cook- 
ing General  Grant's  meal  for  him  when  he  came 
through  in  a  special  coach  after  the  close  of  the  war. 

"I  never  will  forget  that  dinner.  We  had  the 
best  Laporte  afforded — trout,  caught  out  of  the 
Poudre  just  above  town,  chicken,  squash,  baked 
beans  and  potatoes.  I  had  cooked  the  potatoes  in  a 
steamer  and  I  put  the  steamer  on  the  window  sill 
in  the  kitchen,  while  I  was  busy  putting  on  other 
dishes.  When  I  went  after  the  potatoes  they  were 
gone  and  I  found  out  the  soldiers  in  General  Grant's 
escort  had  taken  them.  The  general  had  a  good 
laugh  when  he  found  it  out  and  he  said  he  made  out 
a  good  dinner  without  potatoes.  He  thought  it  was 
about  the  best  meal  he'd  had  on  the  whole  trip. 

"Those  were  exciting  days.  I  remember  once 
when  we  were  at  Fort  Laramie,  I  had  to  go  out 
with  a  troop  of  cavalry  under  command  of  Lieu- 
tenant Collins.  He  was  a  son  of  Col.  Collins,  for 
whom  Fort  Collins  was  named.  The  Indians  had 
attacked  a  wagon  party  near  Sweetwater  and  we 
went  to  their  relief.  They  were  barricaded  in  a 
corral  made  of  their  wagons,  but  had  already  lost 
several,  two  of  their  women  having  been  stolen  by 


the  redskins.  When  we  got  to  the  camp,  the  Indians 
fled  and  we  went  after  them.  After  chasing  them 
into  the  hills.  Lieutenant  Collins'  horse  became 
frightened  and  dashed  out  of  line  into  the  line  of  the 
enemy.  The  last  we  saw  of  him  he  was  surrounded 
by  Indians  and  he  disappeared  with  them. 

"We  did  not  find  him  until  next  morning,  when 
his  body,  cut  open  by  the  redskins,  was  lying  on  the 
ground.  We  found  a  note  at  his  side  signed  by  two 
white  women,  who  said  they  had  been  captured  and 
that  they  would  try  and  break  away  the  next  night. 
They  wanted  us  to  stay  on  the  trail  of  the  Indians, 
so  they  could  join  us  if  possible.  We  followed  them 
and  sure  enough,  the  next  day  one  of  the  women  was 
found  by  us.  She  had  made  her  escape,  but  the 
other  one  was  carried  away  and  we  never  heard  from 
her  or  the  Indians  again,  as  they  had  given  us  the 
slip.  I'm  pretty  black,  but  I  tell  you  my  skin 
turned  white  more  than  once  in  those  days.  I  could 
give  you  some  more  yarns  like  that  from  my  life 
that  would  make  your  hair  stand  up,  if  I  had  a 
little  time  to  think." 

Rescue  of  Ute  Susan 

I  am  indebted  to  J.  N.  Hollowell  of  Loveland, 
for  the  following  pioneer  reminiscences : 

"I  arrived  in  the  Big  Thompson  valley  in  Octo- 
ber, 1860,  and  found  that  about  twenty  people  had 
preceded  me.  Among  those  living  in  the  valley  at 
that  time,  as  I  recall  them  to  mind,  were  Thomas 
H.  Johnson,  John  Hahn,  W.  A.  Bean,  Samuel 
Heffner,  Adam  Dick,  W.  C.  Stover,  Doc.  Allen, 
Ed.  Clark,  Mariana  Modena,  his  Indian  wife  whom 
he  called  'John,'  and  three  children,  Lena,  Antoine, 
and  Martin  Modena,  Louis  Papa,  Jack  McGaa  and 
squaw,  Tim  Goodin  and  squaw,  and  three  Mexi- 
cans and  their  squaws. 

"The  principal  industry  at  that  time,  through 
which  we  made  our  living,  was  hauling  hay  to 
Central  City  and  vicinity,  a  distance  of  about  75 
miles.  Our  meat,  during  the  summer,  was  ob- 
tained principally  from  antelope ;  in  the  winter  from 
deer,  sometimes  elk,  and  mountain  sheep. 

"There  was  no  particular  change  in  the  situation 
of  affairs  during  1861,  except  that  people  came  in, 
stopped  a  short  time  on  a  piece  of  land  and  then 
moved  away,  finding  nothing  in  the  country  that 
was  to  them  attractive.  A  few  stray  Indians  passed, 
by  in  the  spring  on  their  way  to  northern  hunting 
grounds,  returning  again  in  the  fall.  They  were  of 
no  particular  trouble  to  the  settlers,  except  that 
they    were     always     hungry.       Among    the     most 

[107] 


HISTORY    OF    LARIMER    COUNTY^ 


COLORADO 


familiar  Indians  were  those  belonging  to  Chief 
Lefthand's  and  Chief  Friday's  bands  of  Arapahoes. 
Chief  Friday  and  his  band  numbering  between  200 
and  300,  was  located  for  a  time  in  the  Cache  la 
Poudre  valley,  but  they  would  often  stray  over  to 
the  Big  Thompson. 

"In  the  spring  of  that  year  I  went  to  Golden  and 
purchased  garden  seeds  from  Bill  Loveland's  store. 
These  I  planted  on  W.  B.  Osborn's  ranch  (now 
owned  by  M.  Y.  Osborn),  about  one  and  a  half 
miles  east  of  the  present  city  of  Loveland.  I  was 
fortunate  in  raising  cabbage,  lettuce,  radishes, 
onions  and  melons,  which  found  a  ready  sale  at 
good  prices.  It  was  an  experiment,  consequently  I 
did  not  branch  out  very  heavy.  Being  at  Mariana's 
store  one  day  in  September,  I  invited  him  to  come 
to  my  place  and  eat  melons  and  to  bring  the  rest 
of  the  squaw  men  with  him.  They  came,  six  of 
them.  I  prepared  a  dinner  for  them  and  they  ate 
to  their  fill.  To  the  best  of  my  knowledge,  the 
vegetables  I  raised  that  year  were  the  first  grown 
in  the  Big  Thompson  valley.  There  were  then 
about  twenty  persons  living  here,  of  whom  only 
Thomas  H.  Johnson,  W.  B.  Osborn,  John  Hahn, 
Louis  Papa  and  myself  remain.  The  rest  have  all 
moved  away  or  passed  on  'to  that  bourne  whence  no 
traveler  returns.' 

"One  day  in  the  latter  part  of  June,  1863,  I  was 
lying  asleep  in  my  cabin,  a  mile  and  a  half  southeast 
of  the  present  city  of  Loveland.  Being  suddenly 
aroused  from  my  slumbers  by  an  unusual  noise,  I 
looked  up  and  discovered  that  my  cabin  was  full  of 
Indians.  They  were  painted  and  feathered  up  in 
regular  war  style.  After  I  had  dressed  myself,  the 
spokesman  of  the  party  said  'swap,'  pointing  at  the 
hat  I  had  on  and  at  a  looking  glass  hanging  on  the 
wall.  He  then  pointed  up  the  Big  Thompson  river 
as  an  invitation  to  go  with  them.  My  first  thought 
was  they  wanted  to  'swap'  a  pony  for  my  hat  and 
looking  glass,  so  I  took  the  glass  and  went  with 
them  to  their  camp,  about  half  a  mile  distant. 
When  we  reached  the  camp  I  found  about  a  half 
a  dozen  tepees  which  I  supposed  were  for  the  use  of 
the  chiefs  or  headmen.  One  of  my  guides  opened 
the  entrance  to  one  of  the  tepees  and  soon  came  out 
with  a  young  squaw  whom  he  pushed  against  me, 
saying  'swap,'  pointing  to  my  hat  and  my  glass.  I 
sized  them  up  the  best  I  could  under  the  circum- 
stances and  replied  'no  swap.'  The  squaw,  judging 
by  her  dress,  was  about  13  years  of  age.  There 
were  some  200  or  300  Indians  in  the  band,  al- 
together, and  when  I  refused  to  'swap,'  they  set  up 
such  a  yell  as  I  shall  probably  never  hear  again.     I 

[108] 


then  left  them  and  went  back  to  my  cabin,  feeling 
not  a  little  uneasy  concerning  the  outcome.  They 
didn't  trouble  me,  however.  The  band  staid  in 
camp  two  nights.  On  the  second  night  I  saw  a 
bright  light  in  the  Indian  camp  and  heard. a  thump, 
thump,  so  I  went  as  close  to  them  as  I  thought 
prudent.  The  savages  were  having  a  war  dance. 
The  bucks  were  going  round  and  round  in  a  circle, 
raising  their  feet  and  keeping  time  to  the  thumps, 
yelling  the  war  whoop  and  carrying  poles  on  which 
were  strung  three  scalps  with  long  black  hair. 
Those  that  did  not  dance,  chanted  their  war  song 
in  unison  with  the  thumps.  They  kept  this  up  until 
midnight  or  later.  The  following  morning  they 
broke  camp  and  marched  away  in  a  northeasterly  di- 
rection. Though  they  had  done  me  no  harm,  I  was 
not  a  bit  displeased  to  see  them  leave  my  neigh- 
borhood. 

"That  year  Company  B  of  the  First  Colorado 
volunteer  cavalry  and  some  Michigan  troops  were 
camped  at  Laporte.  There  had  been  some  trouble 
with  the  redskins  on  the  Platte,  so  a  party  of  about 
a  dozen  soldiers  was  sent  down  there  to  straighten 
things  out.  On  their  way  back  the  soldiers  forded 
the  Platte  near  the  present  town  of  Evans  and 
climbed  the  bluff.  From  here  they  saw  a  large 
camp  of  Indians  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  river, 
apparently  in  some  commotion.  The  soldiers  re- 
crossed  the  river  and  hastened  to  the  camp,  finding 
Chief  Lefthand's  band  of  Arapahoes,  the  same  band 
that  was  at  my  place  only  a  few  days  before.  The 
savages  were  preparing  to  burn  at  the  stake  the 
young  squaw  they  had  tried  to  'swap'  to  me  for  the 
hat  and  looking  glass,  and  already  had  her  tied  to 
a  tree  with  fagots  piled  up  around  her.  The 
soldiers  rescued  the  girl  and  took  her  to  their  camp 
at  Laporte,  and  in  the  course  of  a  few  days  sent  her 
to  Denver.  From  there.  Governor  Evans  sent  her, 
under  guard,  to  Sulphur  Springs,  where  she  was 
turned  over  to  her  people.  The  young  squaw's 
name  was  Susan  and  she  was  a  sister  of  Chief 
Ouray  of  the  Utes.  In  a  raid  upon  the  Ute  camp 
the  Arapahoes  killed  three  Ute  warriors  and  cap- 
tured Susan.  In  after  years  Susan  married  Chief 
Johnson  and  it  was  through  her  interposition  that 
Mrs.  N.  C.  Meeker  and  her  daughter,  Josephine, 
were  saved  from  a  cruel  death  at  the  hands  of  the 
Utes  at  the  time  of  the  White  river  massacre  in 
September,  1879.  Mrs.  Meeker  and  her  daughter 
were  from  Greeley  and  Susan  remembered  that 
white  soldiers  had  saved  her  from  a  cruel  fate  when 
she  was  about  to  be  burned  at  the  stake  on  the  very 
spot  where  Greeley  now  stands.     It  was  gratitude 


HISTORY         OF        LARIMER         COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


that  prompted  her  to  intercede  for  and  save  the  lives 
of  the  two  vv'hite  women." 

Mr.  Hollowell's  story  of  the  rescue  of  Susan 
from  the  Arapahoes  is  corroborated  in  all  essential 
particulars  by  Major  Simon  Whitely  of  Racine, 
Wisconsin,  who,  at  the  time  of  Susan's  rescue,  was 
Indian  agent  to  the  Utes.  In  an  interview  with  a 
reporter,  which  was  printed  in  the  Chicago  Tribune, 
November  5,  1879,  shortly  after  the  White  river 
massacre.  Major  Whitely  told  the  following  story: 

"In  the  three  years  of  m.y  agency  I  never  dis- 
covered any  evidence  of  dissatisfaction  or  anything 
but  a  kindly  feeling  for  the  whites  on  the  part  of  the 
Utes,  which  I  attribute  very  largely  to  the  fact  that 
I  restored  to  them  the  squaw  Susan,  the  sister  of 
Chief  Ouray,  who  saved  the  lives  of  the  Meeker 
women  after  the  massacre  of  their  husband  and 
father,  N.  C.  Meeker,  at  the  White  river  agency  on 
September  28,  1879.  While  on  my  way  to  Sulphur 
Springs  in  1863,  I  was  overtaken  by  a  messenger 
from  Governor  Evans,  who  informed  me  of  the 
rescue  of  a  Ute  squaw  from  the  Arapahoes  and 
Cheyennes  by  the  soldiers  of  Company  B  of  the 
First  Colorado,  stationed  at  Laporte.  These  In- 
dians had  captured  the  squaw  in  one  of  their  raids 
and,  while  encamped  near  the  mouth  of  the  Cache 
la  Poudre  river,  had  determined  to  burn  her  at  the 
stake.  The  commanding  officer  at  Laporte,  hear- 
ing of  this,  took  a  detachment  of  troops  and,  by 
alternate  threats  and  promises,  obtained  her  release 
after  she  had  already  been  tied  to  the  stake  and  the 
fire  lighted.  Susan  was  sent  to  Denver  in  charge 
of  a  guard  of  soldiers  and  forwarded  from  there  to 
me  at  Sulphur  Springs  in  Middle  park.  I  then  sent 
her,  accompanied  by  U.  M.  Curtice,  my  interpreter, 
to  her  people  and  delivered  her  to  them  after  a 
journey  across  the  western  portion  of  Colorado  into 
the  borders  of  Utah,  to  the  camp  of  the  Indians  on 
Snake  river,  where  she  was  received  with  every  de- 
monstration of  joy  by  the  tribe." 

Major  Whitely  concluded  his  story  by  saying  that 
Susan  was  Chief  Ouray's  sister,  who  displayed  so 
much  kindness  and  affection  for  the  Meeker  women, 
mother  and  daughter,  and  through  whose  inter- 
position, doubtless,  their  lives  were  saved. 

Major  Whitely's  story  was  reproduced  in  the 
Fort  Collins  Courier  from  the  Chicago  Tribune,  on 
November  12,  1879.  Knowing  that  Capt.  C.  C. 
Hawley  of  Fort  Collins,  was  an  officer  in  the  First 
Colorado  in  1863,  the  editor  of  the  Courier  called 
his  attention  to  the  story  told  by  Major  Whitely 
and  he  corroborated  it  in  some  particulars.    He  said : 

"Susan  was  taken  to  Denver,  where  my  company 


was  stationed  at  the  time,  and  turned  over  to  Major 
Whitely,  who  returned  her  to  her  people."  Capt. 
Hawley  also  said  that  Susan  had  been  with  the 
Arapahoes  so  long  that  she  had  acquired  their  lan- 
guage and  habits  and  was  in  no  danger  of  being 
burned  at  the  stake,  as  stated  by  Major  Whitely  in 
his  interview.  The  attention  of  Thomas  R.  Mc- 
Bride,  one  of  the  early  settlers  of  Laporte  was  also 
called  to  the  story  and  he  stated  that  Major 
Whitely's  version  of  the  incident  was  correct.  He 
said  that  Susan  was  brought  to  Laporte  and  kept  in 
the  family  of  Bill  Carroll  until  Governor  Evans 
decided  what  to  do  with  her. 

The  Cherokee  Trail 

In  1848,  after  a  part  of  the  Cherokee  nation  of 
Indians  had  ceded  to  the  L^nited  States  their  lands 
in  Georgia,  a  party  was  organized  and  sent  to  the 
Pacific  coast  to  look  up  a  new  country  in  which  to 
locate  their  people.  They  came  west  by  the  Arkan- 
sas valley  route  to  the  mouth  of  Squirrel  creek,  a 
tributary  of  the  Arkansas  river.  They  ascended 
this  creek  to  the  divide,  thence  crossing  to  the  head 
of  Cherry  creek,  following  this  stream  to  its  junc- 
tion with  the  South  Platte.  Though  looking  for 
gold  was  not  the  main  purpose  of  the  expedition, 
nevertheless  they  found  that  it  existed  in  the  streams 
of  this  region.  They  did  not  stop  to  do  much  pros- 
pecting, however,  but  pushed  on  northward  along 
the  eastern  base  of  the  mountains  until  they  reached 
where  Laporte  is  now.  Here  they  plunged  into  the 
mountains,  following  a  route  that  led  them  past 
what  is  now  known  as  Virginia  Dale  and  over  the 
divide  to  the  Laramie  Plains,  thence  on  west  to 
California.  On  their  return  from  the  Pacific  coast, 
in  1849,  they  came  down  from  the  Laramie  Plains 
by  the  way  of  what  is  now  St.  Cloud  and  Cherokee 
park,  where  they  evidently  camped  one  night.  From 
there  they  came  over  Cherokee  hill,  through  what 
is  now  known  as  Alford,  down  Calloway  hill,  cross- 
ing the  North  Fork  at  the  Cradock  ranch,  near 
which  they  struck  their  outgoing  trail  which  they 
followed  to  Laporte,  and  thence  on  south  to  the 
Arkansas.  There  is  a  tradition  to  the  efEect  that 
they  were  surprised  at  Cherokee  Park  by  a  war 
party  of  Utes  that  had  come  through  Sand  creek 
pass,  over  Boulder  Ridge  and  down  Sheep  creek. 
The  Cherokees  are  said  to  have  fled  to  the  top  of 
Cherokee  hill  where  it  is  said  a  battle  was  fought  in 
which  the  Cherokees  were  victorious.  The  Utes 
were  driven  from  the  field  after  a  loss  of  many 
warriors.     A  number  of  the  Cherokees  were  killed 


[109] 


HISTORY    OF    LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


in  the  fight,  and  these  were  buried  on  the  battle 
field  on  the  summit  of  the  hill,  where,  to  this  day, 
mounds  resembling  graves,  may  be  seen.  Some  of 
these  mounds  have  been  opened  it  is  said,  and  human 
bones  found  in  them,  which  lends  an  air  of  proba- 
bility to  the  tradition.  When  the  remnant  of  the 
exploring  party  returned  to  Georgia,  they  attempted 
to  organize  an  expedition  for  the  Rocky  Mountains 
on  a  gold  hunting  quest.  News  of  the  finding  of 
gold  in  Cherry  creek  spread  in  Georgia,  finally 
coming  to  the  ears  of  W.  Green  Russell,  miner  of 
Dahlonega,  who  also  projected  an  expedition  to  this 
region.  In  the  meantime,  a  Cherokee  cattle  trader, 
named  Parks,  in  driving  his  herds  along  what 
came  to  be  known  as  the  Cherokee  trail,  and  having 
his  eyes  sharpened  by  the  stories  told  by  the  Indians 
on  their  return  from  California,  discovered  gold  in 
1852,  on  Ralston  creek,  a  small  affluent  of  Clear 
creek.  These  discoveries  excited  a  great  deal  of 
interest  and  early  in  the  Spring  of  1858  the  Chero- 
kees  organized  for  a  prospecting  expedition  to  the 
vicinity  of  Pikes  Peak.  W.  Green  Russell  joined 
them  with  a  party  of  white  men.  This  expedition 
consisted  of  twelve  white  persons  and  thirty  Indians, 
among  whom  were  George  Hicks,  Sen.,  (who  was 
a  lawyer  by  profession  and  a  notable  man  among 
the  Cherokees)  who  was  leader  of  the  party.  George 
Hicks  Jr.,  John  Beck,  Ezekiel  Beck,  Pelicon  Tigre 
and  others.  The  white  persons,  George  McDougal, 
brother  of  Governor  McDougal  of  California,  who 
had  a  trading  post  on  Adobe  creek,  a  Mr.  Kirk, 
wife  and  two  children,  Levi  Braumbaugh,  Philan- 
der Simmons,  a  mountaineer  of  several  years  ex- 
perience, and  Messrs  Brown,  Kelly,  Johns,  Taylor 
and  Tubbs.  The  company  left  the  Missouri  front- 
ier May  12th,  and  arrived  at  Bent's  new  fort  in 
good  season ;  but  the  winter  had  been  severe  and  the 
spring  late,  which  made  traveling  slow  and  difficult 
nor  were  there  labors  rewarded  that  season,  though 
they  prospected  from  the  head  of  the  Arkansas  to 
the  Platte  and  one  hundred  miles  to  the  north, 
which  brought  them  into  Larimer  county.  From 
this  date  the  real  history  of  the  white  man's  occu- 
pation of  Colorado  begun.  The  news  of  gold  finds 
in  the  Pikes  Peak  region  spread  like  wildfire,  and 
during  1858,  thousands  rushed  to  the  Rocky  mount- 
ains. The  Cherokee  trail  is  frequently  mentioned 
in  subquent  descriptions  by  explorers  and  travelers 
through  this  region. 

[HO] 


Mystery  of  Cherokee  Hill  Mounds 
Explained 

The  following  story  concerning  himself  and  his 
experiences  in  Larimer  county  in  1862-3,  in  which 
is  also  explained  the  origin  and  purpose  of  the 
Indian  mounds  on  the  summit  of  Cherokee  hill, 
was  told  by  Thomas  Quillan,  an  aged  pioneer  and 
at  present  an  inmate  of  the  County  hospital,  to 
Judge  Jefferson  McAnelly  who  had  it  printed  in 
the  Fort  Collins  Democrat  on  June  5th,  1907.  The 
story  fully  explains  the  mystery  of  the  Cherokee  hill 
mounds  which  have  attracted  the  attention  and  ex- 
cited the  curosity  of  passers-by  for  many  years.  The 
common  acceptation  of  the  origin  of  these  mounds 
has  been  that  they  contained  the  remains  of  Chero- 
kee Indian  warriors  who  were  killed  in  a  battle  with 
the  Utes  in  1848.  The  only  foundation  for  this 
supposition  is  the  fact  that  a  band  of  Utes  did  raid 
a  camp  of  Cherokees  near  the  place  that  year,  and 
run  off  a  lot  of  horses  belonging  to  the  strangers. 

A  few  years  after  the  Cherokees  sold  their  lands 
in  Georgia  and  Tennessee  to  the  United  States,  the 
tribe  dispatched  a  party  of  braves  to  the  Pacific 
coast  in  search  of  a  new  location  for  the  tribe.  This 
party  came  up  the  Arkansas  river,  crossed  over  the 
divide  to  the  head  of  Cherry  creek,  down  which 
they  traveled  to  the  site  of  the  present  City  of  Den- 
ver. From  there  they  came  north,  following  the 
trend  of  the  mountains  to  the  present  town  of  La- 
parte  where  they  entered  the  hills  and  pursued  a 
northerly  course  until  they  came  out  on  to  the  Lar- 
amie Plains.  They  camped  one  night  on  the  North 
fork  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  in  the  vicinity  of  what 
is  now  St.  Cloud  or  William  Campton's  noted 
summer  resort.  Here  their  camp  was  raided  by  a 
wandering  band  of  Utes,  who  stole  and  drove  off 
some  of  the  traveler's  horses.  The  tradition  how- 
ever, that  a  battle  ensued  here  in  which  the  Chero- 
kees were  vanquished  with  the  loss  of  several  of 
their  warriors,  lacks  the  element  of  truth,  for  the 
Cherokees  continued  their  journey  to  the  coast,  but 
not  being  pleased  with  the  country,  returned  to  their 
tribe  in  the  Indian  Territory  without  the  loss  of  a 
single  one  of  their  members,  so  far  as  history  tells  of 
the  expedition.  The  trail  they  followed  from  the 
mouth  of  Cherry  creek  northward,  and  baqk,  is 
still  known  as  the  Cherokee  trail.  Mr.  Quillan's 
story,  with  Judge  McAnelly's  introduction,  follows: 

"The  mounds  on  Cherokee  hill  were  discovered  by 
a  miner  and  a  hunter  in  the  winter  of  1862-3.  This 
miner  was  born  on  April  13th,  1829,  in  North 
Carolina,  going  thence  with  his  parents  to  Indiana. 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


From  Indiana  the  family  moved,  in  1854,  to  Marion 
county,  Iowa,  and  thence  to  Randolph  county, 
Illinois  in  1858.  This  man's  name  is  Thomas 
Quillan,  familiarly  known  as  "Uncle"  Tom  Quillan. 
He,  like  many  others,  was  seized  with  the  gold  fever 
in  1859  and  started  from  Chester,  Illinois,  for  Pikes 
Peak  April  5  th,  in  company  with  the  two  Killian 
brothers.  Their  outfit  consisted  of  one  wagon  and 
three  yoke  of  oxen.  They  were  sixty-seven  days  on 
the  road,  arriving  at  Denver  June  7th,  1859.  Here 
they  found  but  one  log  cabin,  but  numerous  tents, 
and  a  floating,  restless  population  of  about  5,000. 
They  remained  here  two  days  and,  instead  of  going 
to  Pikes  Peak,  they  went  to  Gregory  Gulch  to  hunt 
for  gold.  Here  they  worked  in  the  mines  and  soon 
fell  in  with  Green  Russell,  the  discoverer  of  gold  in 
Gregory  gulch,  and  he  taught  them  how  to  mine  for 
the  precious  metals.  Russell  was  a  relative  of 
Quillan.  Tiring  of  mining,  Quillan,  in  company 
with  Thomas  Bavington,  Joseph  Bog,  George  Per- 
kins and  George  Hall,  started  out  in  January  1862 
on  a  hunting,  trapping  and  prospecting  expedition 
to  the  northward  of  Gregory  gulch.  They  struck 
the  old  Cherokee  trail  and  followed  it  to  Laporte, 
stopping  there  several  days,  buying  supplies  and  in- 
quiring about  the  country.  The  only  white  man 
they  became  acquainted  with  there  was  John  Provost 
an  old-time  trapper  and  voyager,  and  French  Cana- 
dian. 

They  journeyed  from  Laporte  to  Virginia  Dale, 
remaining  there  a  couple  of  weeks  hunting  on  Dale 
creek  and  its  tributaries.  They  then  broke  camp 
and  moved  on  to  what  was  then  called  Front  creek 
where  they  hunted  and  trapped  about  a  week  and 
then  moved  to  the  North  fork  of  the  Cache  la 
Poudre  river  in  February.  They  pitched  their 
tents  in  Cherokee  park,  adjacent  to  Cherokee  hill, 
and  hunted  and  trapped  until  spring.  It  was  dur- 
ing that  time  that  they  discovered  the  mounds  on 
Cherokee  hill,  which,  to  them,  had  the  appearance 
of  new  made  graves.  Quillan's  curiosity  to  learn 
what  the  mounds  contained  overcame  his  discretion 
and  he  bantered  Perkins  to  help  him  open  the  graves 
for  the  purpose  of  seeing  what  was  in  them,  but 
Perkins  was  superstitious  and  made  a  dozen  excuses, 
finally  declaring  that  he  would  not  assist  in  opening 
the  graves  under  any  conditions.  Not  to  be  bluffed 
by  superstitious  notions,  Quillan  started  out  one 
day  to  make  an  investigation  and  after  removing 
the  stones  and  what  little  there  was  remaining,  he 
came  to  solid  ground.  There  were  no  graves  there. 
In  fact,  the  grass  underneath  the  piles  of  stones  was 
not  yet   dead,   indicating  the   recent   origin   of   the 


mounds.  On  their  way  back  to  Gregory  gulch,  the 
party  stopped  at  Provost's  place  in  Laporte.  While 
there,  Quillan  asked  Provost  if  he  knew  why  the 
mounds  were  built  on  Cherokee  hill  and  he  said  he 
did.  Provost  then  told  him  that  during  the  prev- 
ious fall  a  large  band  of  Cheyenne  and  Arapahoe 
Indians  had  camped  in  that  vicinity  while  on  a  hunt- 
ing trip.  The  squaws  and  children  remained  in 
camp  while  the  bucks  were  out  hunting,  and  as  is 
customary  with  them,  built  the  mounds  as  a  signal 
to  show  the  absent  bucks  what  they  had  done  in  case 
anything  happened  to  them.  Provost's  story  solved 
the  mystery  of  the  mounds.  Instead  of  being  the 
graves  of  Cherokee  warriors  slain  in  battle  with  the 
Utes  in  1848,  they  were  simply  the  work  of  squaws 
and  pappooses  of  that  band  of  Indians  that  was 
camped  near  Cherokee  hill  in  the  fall  of  1861. 

Uncle  Tom  Quillan  gave  up  mining  in  1872  and 
came  to  Larimer  county,  locating  a  homestead 
claim  in  Rattlesnake  Park  in  the  gulch  known  as 
Quillan  gulch.  In  1885  he  purchased  a  ranch  on 
Meadow  creek,  right  at  the  foot  of  Cherokee  hill, 
and  lived  there  a  good  many  years,  finally  disposing 
of  the  property  and  moving  to  Fort  Collins  which 
is  still  his  home. 

A  Plucky  Young  Man's  Success 

The  late  William  C.  Stover  of  Fort  Collins, 
former  member  of  the  Territorial  legislature,  who 
in  1876,  as  a  member  of  the  Constitutional  con- 
vention helped  to  draft  the  present  Constitution  of 
Colorado,  a  successful  merchant  and  president  of  the 
Poudre  Valley  bank  for  nearly  a  score  of  years,  an 
institution  that  he  and  Charles  H.  Sheldon  estab- 
lished in  1878,  and  which  has  since  become  the 
Poudre  Valley  National  Bank,  one  of  the  soundest 
and  best  known  financial  institutions  in  the  vrest, 
had  his  trials  and  tribulations  in  the  pioneer  days, 
when  men's  souls  were  at  times  severely  tried  and 
when  more  than  one  of  them  succumbed  to  the  storms 
of  adversity  and  gave  up  the  fight.  But  he  was 
made  of  sterner  stuff.  Though  often  hungry  and 
poorly  clad,  he  persevered  and  at  last  reached  the 
top  of  the  ladder  which  led  up  to  success  in  life 
in  all  that  term  implies.  He  came  to  Colorado  in 
1860,  a  mere  boy  scarcely  nineteen  years  of  age. 
When  he  left  home  in  the  spring  of  that  year,  his 
father  fitted  him  out  with  a  span  of  good  horses, 
wagon,  clothing,  blankets  and  supply  of  provisions. 
He  came  direct  to  the  Big  Thompson  valley  and 
traded  his  horses  and  wagon  for  a  squatter's  claim, 
situated  about  a  mile  south  of  the  present  City  of 

[111] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


Loveland.  In  the  spring  of  1861,  he  planted  a  por- 
tion of  his  claim  to  potatoes,  paying  an  enormous 
price  for  the  seed,  for  potatoes  were  potatoes  in  those 
days.  This  exhausted  his  fund  of  ready  money. 
His  provisions  also  gave  out  and  he  was  reduced  to 
the  extremity  of  having  to  dig  up  his  seed  potatoes 
before  they  had  begun  to  grow  for  food.  Of  course 
he  had  no  crop,  but  he  managed  in  some  way  to  ex- 
ist until  the  following  winter  when  his  resources 
gave  out  entirely.  He  was  almost  destitute  of 
clothing,  his  raiment  consisting  mainly  of  a  pair  of 
blue  denim  overalls  that  had  been  patched  until 
there  was  hardly  a  scrap  left  of  the  original  garment, 
and  his  feet  were  clad  in  moccasins  made  of  old 
gunny  sacks.  In  this  condition  he  appeared  one 
day  at  the  cabin  of  J.  N.  Hollowell,  a  former  school- 
mate in  Indiana,  and  told  him  that  he  had  no  boots 
and  no  money  to  buy  them  with,  asking  his  friend  if 
he  could  not  help  him  to  get  a  pair.  Mr.  Hollowell 
told  him  that  he  had  no  money,  but  that  his  uncle, 
W.  B.  Osborn,  at  Boulder  had  some  money  and  he 
could  get  enough  of  him  to  buy  a  pair  of  boots.  Mr. 
Hollowell  went  to  Boulder,  borrowed  the  money, 
bought  a  pair  of  stogy  boots,  paying  $8  for  them, 
and  brought  them  back  to  Stover.  When  he  re- 
turned, Mr.  Stover  said  he  had  no  trousers.  Mr. 
Hollowell  looked  up  some  grain  sacks  that  Mr. 
Osborn  had  brought  from  the  East,  filled  with  dried 
fruit,  and  from  these  Mr.  Stover  made  himself  a 
pair  of  trousers,  using  his  old  overalls  for  a  pattern. 
He  wore  those  trousers  and  boots  all  winter.  Dur- 
ing the  season  of  1862  he  managed,  by  working 
around  at  odd  jobs,  to  make  a  living  and  that  fall 
he  put  up  a  lot  of  hay  which  brought  him  a  good 
snug  sum  of  money,  out  of  which  he  paid  Mr. 
Hollowell  the  money  borrowed  for  the  boots.  The 
writer  has  heard  both  Mr.  Stover  and  Mr.  Hollo- 
well tell  this  story,  so  that  it  is  practically  correct. 
In  1863  Mr.  Stover  sold  his  claim  to  the  late 
John  J.  Ryan,  and  in  1864  went  to  Virginia  City, 
Montana,  which  was  then  the  center  of  a  big  gold 
excitement,  returning  in  the  fall  of  the  year  to  his 
old  home  at  South  Bend,  Indiana.  In  the  spring  of 
1 865  he  borrowed  money  enough  of  his  father  which, 
with  what  he  had  of  his  own,  enabled  him  to  buy 
a  freighting  outfit  of  several  wagons.  These  he 
loaded  with  provisions  and  merchandise  and  started 
back  for  Montana,  arriving  at  Virginia  City,  at  a 
time  when  flour  was  selling  at  $100  a  sack,  with 
bacon  and  other  eatables  correspondingly  high.  He 
closed  out  his  load  in  short  order,  clearing  $5,000 
in  the  transaction,  and  started  right  back  for  St. 
Joseph,    Missouri,    for    another    load.      He    made 


several  trips  across  the  plains  to  Montana  between 
1865  and  1867,  clearing  a  nice  sum  of  money. 
After  paying  back  all  the  mouey  he  had  borrowed 
and  selling  his  outfit,  he  returned  to  the  Big  Thomp- 
son in  1868  and  bought  an  interest  in  the  late  A.  K. 
Yount's  store,  continuing  in  trade  there  until  1870 
when  he  moved  to  Fort  Collins  and  in  company  with 
the  late  John  C.  Matthews  bought  the  Mason  & 
Allen  stock  of  goods,  which  was  then  kept  in  the 
Old  Grout  building.  In  1873  the  firm  erected  a 
two  story  brick  building  at  the  corner  of  Jefierson 
and  Linden  streets,  recently  torn  down  to  make 
room  for  the  Union  Pacific  railroad,  into  which 
they  moved  their  stock.  Soon  after  this  Mr.  Stover 
purchased  Mr.  Matthews'  interest  in  the  business 
and  carried  it  on  alone  until  1880  when  the  late 
Albert  B.  Tomlin  became  associated  with  him. 
Until  1873,  when  the  late  Jacob  Welch  came  to 
Fort  Collins  and  started  a  store,  this  was  the  only 
general  store  in  Fort  Collins  and  it  did  an  immense 
business  annually. 

David  Hershman's  Pioneer  Stories 

David  Hershman  came  from  Illinois  to  the  Big 
Thompson  valley  in  1865,  a  young  man,  poor  in 
purse,  but  full  of  hard  work  and  rich  in  ambition 
and  courage.  He  brought  a  harvester  and  mowing 
machine  with  him,  and  in  August  of  that  year,  ob- 
tained employment  cutting  hay  and  harvesting  the 
few  patches  of  from  two  to  five  acres  of  wheat 
grown  by  the  settlers.  That  fall  he  bought  of  H. 
B.  Chubbuck  the  improvements  on  a  claim  lying 
south  of  the  present  city  of  Loveland,  on  which  he 
filed  a  preemption.  Here  he  lived  for  nearly  forty- 
five  years,  adding  to  his  land  holdings  until  he  had 
600  acres,  all  within  two  miles  of  Loveland.  Dur- 
ing recent  years  he  disposed  of  his  land  holdings 
with  the  exception  of  150  acres  which  he  still  owns. 
Like  all  of  the  pioneers  of  the  county,  he  endured 
many  hardships  and  privations  in  the  early  days,  but 
he  had  an  unfaltering  faitii  in  the  future  of  the 
county  and  labored  on,  combating  discouragements 
and  adversity  until  success  crowned  his  efforts.  He 
is  now  in  the  enjoyment  of  a  handsome  competence 
and  is  spending  his  declining  years  in  comfort  and 
contentment. 

Mr.  Hershman  retains  vivid  recollections  of  in- 
teresting incidents  and  events  of  the  days  that  tried 
men's  souls,  and  has  kindly  favored  me  by  relating 
some  of  them  for  this  work.    He  says : 

"I  have  been  a  taxpayer  in  Larimer  county  since 
1866.     I  first  began  paying  taxes  when  the  county 


[n2j 


HISTORY    OF    LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


treasurer  held  his  ofEce  in  the  court  house  at  La- 
porte,  and  Uncle  Ben  Whedbee  was  treasurer. 
The  court  house  was  built  of  round  logs — cotton- 
wood,  if  my  memory  serves  me  right.  The  next 
county  treasurer  was  Dr.  T.  M.  Smith,  who 
held  the  office  until  the  county  seat  was  changed 
from  Laporte  to  Fort  Collins.  There  were  only 
two  stores  in  the  county  then.  One  of  them  was 
kept  by  Mason  &  Allen  at  Fort  Collins,  and  the 
other  by  Mr.  and  Mrs.  A.  K.  Yount  in  my  old  log 
house  on  the  Big  Thompson.  These  stores  did  a 
thriving  business  selling  supplies  to  settlers  and  emi- 
grants. The  Younts  came  to  the  Big  Thompson 
valley  in  1866  or  1867. 

John  E.  Washburn  was  appointed  county  judge 
by  Governor  Evans  when  the  county  was  organized 
in  1864,  and  held  his  office  for  two  years.  I  dis- 
tinctly recall  the  first  case  tried  before  him.  His 
office  was  held  in  his  log  house,  which  is  still  stand- 
ing on  the  bank  of  the  Big  Thompson  river,  a  short 
distance  south  of  Loveland.  The  case  referred  to 
originated  in  this  way:  There  had  been  a  horse 
race  and  a  good  deal  of  betting  on  which  horse 
should  come  out  ahead.  One  man  bet  a  span  of 
horses  against  a  sum  of  money  and  lost  his  team. 
When  the  stakes  were  to  change  hands,  the  owner 
of  the  horses  refused  to  give  them  up.  The  winner 
of  the  team  began  proceedings  in  Judge  Washburn's 
court  to  get  possession.  The  judge  summoned  the 
usual  number  of  jurors  and  the  case  went  to  trial. 
The  names  of  some  of  the  jurors  were :  J.  Parrish, 
Joseph  Denning,  A.  Wiseman,  myself  being  among 
the  number.  I  cannot  recall  the  names  of  the  other 
two.  The  jury  heard  all  the  evidence  introduced 
by  both  sides,  the  pleas  of  counsel,  who  were  Judge 
W.  B.  Osborn  for  the  plaintiff  and  A.  K.  Yount  for 
the  defendant,  and  the  instructions  of  the  court. 
The  way  the  counsel  wrangled  over  the  technical- 
ities of  the  law,  was  a  caution.  One  of  them  affirmed 
that  custom  made  law  and  the  other  that  the  statutes 
ruled,  claiming  that  under  the  law  title  to  property 
could  not  be  acquired  through  gambling  and  that 
betting  on  a  horse  race  was  gambling,  pure  and 
simple.  When  they  were  through  with  their  pleas, 
the  judge  ordered  the  acting  sheriff,  Sherman  Smith, 
to  take  charge  of  the  jury  and  keep  them  in  close 
confinment  until '  they  had  agreed  upon  a  verdict. 
We  were  locked  in  the  front  room  of  the  judge's 
house  late  in  the  evening.  The  judge  and  his  fam- 
ily went  to  bed  upstairs.  We  deliberated  for  several 
hours  but  could  not  agree.  At  last,  as  it  drew  near 
midnight  and  we  were  becoming  anxious  to  get  out 


and  go  home,  we  fixed  up  a  verdict  something  after 
this  manner: 

"We,  the  jury,  find  for  the  plaintiff  and  assess 
him  with  all  the  costs.'' 

We  called  the  judge  down  stairs  and  presented 
him  with  our  verdict.  After  reading  it  the  judge 
said:  Gentlemen  of  the  jury,  I  cannot  accept  your 
verdict.  Then  addressing  the  sheriff,  he  said,  "You 
will  conduct  the  jury  to  their  room  and  keep  them 
there  on  bread  and  water  until  they  agree."  He 
then  returned  to  his  bed  and  we  were  again  locked 
up  in  the  front  room.  The  hours  passed  slowly, 
but  we  had  a  friend  outside  who  supplied  us  with 
whittling  material  from  a  dry  goods  box  brought 
over  from  the  store.  It  is  remembered  that  the 
court  had  kindling  wood  enough  to  last  him  some 
time  as  a  result  of  our  whittling.  Our  friend  on  the 
outside  furnished  us  with  cigars  also,  and  they  served 
a  good  purpose.  They  kept  us  awake  and  made  the 
judge  feel  willing  to  let  us  go.  The  smoke  was 
dense  and  the  upper  floor  of  the  house  was  quite 
open,  so  that  he  and  his  wife  were  practically  smoked 
out.  He  came  rushing  down  stairs,  saying  his  room 
was  full  of  smoke  and  he  could  not  sleep.  We  then 
told  the  judge  we  could  not  agree  upon  anything 
different  from  the  verdict  we  had  already  rendered 
and  he  might  as  well  let  us  go  home.  The  judge 
conferred  with  the  contesting  parties  and  they 
agreed  to  accept  our  verdict,  so  we  were  discharged 
and  went  home  rejoicing  early  in  the  morning. 

In  1867,  I  think  it  was,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Yount 
wanted  to  go  to  Denver  after  more  goods,  and  they 
asked  me  to  tend  the  store  while  they  were  gone. 
I  consented,  but  told  them  there  was  one  article  in 
the  store  that  I  did  not  want  to  sell,  and  that  was 
whiskey.  They  said,  all  right,  you  need  not  sell  it. 
While  they  were  gone  some  customers  came  to  the 
store  about  9  o'clock  at  night  and  demanded  some 
liquor.  They  said  there  was  to  be  a  wedding  down 
the  creek  and  that  such  events  could  not  be  properly 
celebrated  without  a  quantity  of  the  ardent.  I 
think  the  man  who  was  to  be  groom  was  Old  Mus- 
grove.  We  all  knew  he  ought  to  marry  or  leave 
the  country.  The  boys  wanted  four  gallons  of 
whiskey,  but  I  remonstrated,  saying  I  had  no  right 
to  sell  it.  But  Jim  Eaglin  told  me  there  was  no  use 
remonstrating;  that  they  wanted  the  liquor  and 
must  have  it ;  that  he  could  draw  it  from  the  barrel 
and  I  could  report  to  Yount  that  he  had  helped 
himself.  He  said  the  whiskey  was  absolutely  neces- 
sary, for  there  couldn't  be  a  wedding  without  it, 
and  that  Yount  could  charge  it  up  to  the  boys. 

[113] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


When  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Yount  came  home  about 
four  days  later,  I  told  them  the  circumstances  of  the 
whiskey  deal.  They  both  laughed  heartily  and 
said  it  was  all  right.  A  few  years  later  Mr.  Yount 
was  killed  by  the  cars  at  Boulder.  He  undertook 
to  board  the  train  while  it  was  in  motion  and  fell 
under  the  cars  and  was  run  over  and  instantly  killed. 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Yount  sold  their  store  on  the  Big 
Thompson  and  moved  to  Fort  Collins  in  1873, 
where  they  started  the  first  bank  established  in  Lar- 
imer county.  Mr.  Yount  was  killed  in  1876.  Be- 
fore that  he  had  represented  the  county  in  the  Ter- 
ritorial Legislature  and  was  well  thought  of  by  all 
the  pioneers. 

When  my  brother  John  and  I  came  to  the 
Thompson  valley  in  the  latter  part  of  August,  1865, 
we  found  a  few  patches  of  wheat  ranging  from  two 
to  five  acres  in  a  field.  Some  of  the  settlers  had  a 
few  potatoes,  but  the  grasshoppers  were  thick  and 
had  destroyed  nearly  all  the  crops.  Things  looked 
pretty  blue  to  us  and  for  a  while  we  thought  we 
would  have  to  go  back  to  Illinois,  but  courage  was 
our  motto  and  we  soon  got  some  work  to  do  cutting 
hay  and  grain.  We  had  been  advised  to  come  to  the 
Thompson  by  Judge  W.  B.  Osborn,  whom  we  met 
on  the  road  near  the  present  city  of  Longmont. 

Hay  that  year  brought  $100  per  ton  at  Black 
Hawk  and  Central  City,  and  almost  everything 
else  commanded  a  proportionate  price.  That  fall  I 
bought  a  ton  of  potatoes,  paying  7c  a  pound  for 
them.  I  hauled  them  to  Central  City  and  sold 
them  for  12  cents  a  pound.  Greorge  L.  Luce,  who 
lived  then  on  what  is  known  as  the  John  Ryan  farm, 
had  some  eggs  he  wanted  me  to  take  to  market.  I 
sold  the  eggs  for  $2  per  dozen  and  I  have  paid  25 
cents  each  for  eggs  when  they  were  served  to  me 
at  hotels.  Notwithstanding  numerous  drawbacks 
and  discouragements,  I  have  lived  and  prospered. 
I  have  raised  a  family  of  ten  children,  all  boys 
except  nine." 

A  Grateful  Redskin 

Several  years  ago  the  late  Abner  Loomis,  pioneer 
freighter,  stockman  and  banker,  told  the  following 
story  to  a  reporter  for  the  Denver  Times.  Mr. 
Loomis  was  standing  in  front  of  the  Albany  hotel, 
Denver,  exchanging  reminiscences  with  other  old- 
timers,  when  a  young  Indian  passed  by.  "That 
Indian  reminds  me  of  one  I  once  knew,"  said  he. 
"Did  I  ever  tell  you  the  story  of  Zeb?"  On  being 
answered  in  the  negative  he  proceeded.  I  will  pre- 
face  the   story   by   locating   Huleatt   gulch.     The 

[114] 


gulch  comes  down  from  the  northwest  and  opens 
out  on  the  north  side  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river 
about  twenty  miles  west  of  Fort  Collins.  The 
Indians  had  a  trail  down  this  gulch,  which  they  fol- 
lowed in  coming  from  North  Park  to  raid  the  set- 
tlements on  the  Plains  or  to  attack  their  hereditary 
enemies,  the  Arapahoes  and  Cheyennes.  They  came 
from  the  Park  through  Ute  pass,  from  which  cir- 
cumstance the  pass  derives  its  name,  and  practically 
followed  the  line  of  the  present  State  road  leading 
from  Capt.  Davy's  ranch  on  the  Laramie  river,  to 
North  Park.  They  forded  the  Laramie  river  near 
Capt.  Davy's  ranch,  thence  taking  a  course  that  led 
them  to  the  head  of  the  Huleatt  gulch.  After  ford- 
ing the  river  at  the  mouth  of  the  gulch  they  fol- 
lowed up  Hill's  gulch  to  the  head  of  Rist  canon, 
down  which  they  proceeded  to  a  point  near  the 
present  town  of  Bellvue  and  then  traveled  south 
through  the  glade  west  of  the  hogbacks  until  they 
came  to  the  Big  Thompson  valley.  Their  trail 
from  North  Park  to  the  Big  Thompson  was  well 
marked  and  was  distinguishable  for  many  years 
afterwards. 

Mr.  Loomis'  story  follows: 

"During  the  early  60's  the  Indians  infested  the 
valley  of  Big  Thompson  as  well  as  other  parts  of 
the  state.  They  were  forever  prowling  around, 
plundering  the  cabins  of  the  settlers,  running  off 
stock  and  making  themselves  nuisances  on  general 
principles. 

"Early  in  the  year  1860,  I  think  it  was,  one  of 
the  settlers,  a  Frenchman  by  the  name  of  De  Vost, 
captured  from  a  band  of  wandering  Utes  a  little 
Indian  boy  about  12  years  old.  De  Vost  gave  the 
boy  the  name  of  Zeb  to  take  the  place  of  his  unpro- 
nounceable patronym. 

"Zeb  was  a  bright  youngster,  and  seemed  to  be 
blessed  with  virtues  usually  undeveloped  in  the  red- 
skin character.  It  must  not  be  forgotten,  however, 
that  Zeb  had  his  vices,  for  he  was  a  natural  born 
thief  if  ever  there  was  one.  He  regarded  De  Vost's 
property  as  exempted  from  his  pilfering,  and  he 
guarded  the  home  and  effects  of  his  captor  with  the 
most  jealous  care. 

"Zeb  seemed  contented  with  his  new  life,  and 
at  the  age  of  17  was  a  large,  strong,  good  looking 
fellow.  About  this  time  a  band  of  roving  Utes 
happened  to  pass  near  Huleatt  gulch.  The  recol- 
lections of  roaming  over  the  plains  during  his  boyish 
days  thronged  Zeb's  mind,  and  the  desire  for  the 
free  and  unfettered  life  of  the  savage  proved  strong 
enough  to  lure  him  from  the  home  of  his  captor, 
and  he  rejoined  his  tribe.    Perhaps,  during  all  these 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


years,  memory  had  not  been  sleeping,  but  had  re- 
called to  Zeb  the  events  of  former  days,  and  when 
opportunity  offered,  he  was  powerless  to  resist  the 
desire  to  rejoin  the  companions  of  his  childhood. 
De  Vost,  who  had  become  attached  to  the  boy, 
mourned  his  departure,  but  was  forced  to  the  con- 
clusion that  after  all  Zeb  was  a  redskin  of  the  most 
ungrateful  type.  This  was  the  opinion  we  all  held, 
and  as  the  majority  of  us  never  had  a  very  exalted 
opinion  of  Zeb,  we  were  not  very  much  astonished 
at  the  young  savage's  taking  French  leave. 

"Several  months  passed  after  Zeb's  departure, 
and  the  Indians  continued  to  make  life  a  burden  to 
the  settlers  on  the  Big  Thompson.  It  became  evi- 
dent that  something  must  be  done  to  put  a  stop  to 
the  depredations  of  the  redmen.  The  stealing  of 
stock  was  a  daily  or  nightly  occurrence,  and  it 
wasn't  safe  to  leave  the  horses  in  the  corrals  with- 
out a  strong  guard  stationed  there. 

"A  band  of  prowlers  appeared  in  Huleatt  gulch 
and  made  camp  there.  The  settlers  were  not  long 
in  coming  to  the  conclusion  that  the  pilgrims  had 
come  to  this  Mecca  for  a  purpose,  and  their  purpose 
was  to  run  off  our  horses.  We  made  up  our  minds 
to  resist  any  encroachments  upon  our  property,  and 
we  kept  a  sharp  lookout.  In  spite  of  our  careful 
watching,  one  day  the  rascals  succeeded  in  getting 
away  with  eighteen  head  of  horses,  and  before  we 
could  intercept  their  progress,  they  were  well  on 
their  way  to  North  Park.  Six  of  us  armed  our- 
selves, and  soon  we  were  in  hot  pursuit.  We  over- 
took them  near  the  head  of  Huleatt  gulch.  The 
Indians-  prepared  for  a  skirmish.  One  young  brave 
stood  on  a  rock  at  the  entrance  to  the  gulch  and  sent 
his  arrows  flying  over  in  our  direction.  Ben  Clay- 
more emptied  a  six-shooter  and  that  Indian's  career 
was  ended.  The  Indians  now  appeared  in  numbers 
unpleasantly  large,  and  we  saw  that  they  were  pre- 
pared for  immediate  and  decisive  battle.  They  out- 
numbered us,  and  no  doubt  our  earthly  existence 
would  have  terminated  at  that  time  had  not  a  timely 
circumstance  intervened. 

"Just  as  the  arrows  from  forty-seven  redmen  were 
about  to  be  sent  into  our  midst,  there  sprang  from 
amongst  the  warriors  a  young  fellow  who  talked  to 
them  rapidly  and  excitedly,  and  then  ran,  by  leaps, 
in  our  direction.  It  was  Zeb,  who  recognized  De 
Vost  among  our  party,  and  stayed  the  arrows  of  his 
fellows.  The  Indians  sullenly  withdrew  from  the 
field. 

"Zeb  was  delighted  to  see  De  Vost,  and  requested 
the  Indians  to  return  De  Vest's  horses,  which  was 
done.    The  rest  of  us  were  not  so  well  treated,  as 


our  property  went  to  make  up  the  collection  of  the 
redmen's  souvenirs. 

"De  Vost  tried  to  persuade  Zeb  to  remain  with 
him,  but  Zeb  preferred  to  follow  his  copper-colored 
brethren.  At  parting  with  De  Vost,  Zeb  showed 
signs  of  sincere  grief,  but  instinct  is  stronger  than 
education,  and  Zeb  followed  the  promptings  of 
Nature  in  his  choice  of  a  life. 

"Zeb  promised  De  Vost  that  his  band  should 
trouble  the  settlers  'not  any  more,'  and  he  was  true 
to  his  promise,  for  the  depredations  in  the  Big 
Thompson  valley  ended. 

"Zeb  died  in  1871,  and  his  last  request  was  that 
his  blanket  and  pipe  should  be  given  to  De  Vost. 
The  Indians  fulfilled  his  dying  wish,  and  De  Vost 
had  the  articles  in  his  possession  until  his  death, 
which  occurred  a  few  years  ago. 

"Zeb  was  buried,  Indian  fashion,  in  Huleatt 
gulch.  He  was  an  example  of  a  grateful  redskin, 
and  the  only  example,  perhaps,  on  record." 

The  "Happy  Jack"  Episode 

Along  in  the  summer  of  1873,  a  man  known  only 
by  the  name  of  "Happy  Jack"  made  his  appearance 
in  the  Cache  la  Poudre  valley.  He  came  here  from 
the  Hay  &  Thomas  sheep  ranch,  situated  near  the 
Wyoming  line,  where  he  claimed  to  have  been  at 
work  in  the  hay  field.  He  sought  and  obtained  per- 
mission to  ride  to  Laporte  with  William  P.  Bos- 
worth  who  was  returning  to  his  home  in  Pleasant 
valley  after  selling  a  load  of  vegetables  in 
Cheyenne.  He  said  he  wanted  work  and  Mr. 
Bosworth  told  him  that  he  might  be  able  to 
get  a  job  at  the  Obenchain  saw  mill,  which 
stood  on  the  bank  of  the  river  near  where 
William  Falloon  and  family  now  live,  in  Pleas- 
ant valley.  "Happy  Jack"  did  get  a  job  at  the  mill, 
but  did  not  stay  long  as  he  was  found  to  be  not  of 
much  account  as  a  mill  hand.  From  there  he  drifted 
to  Boulder  where  he  hired  out  to  Clint  Farrar  to 
haul  railroad  ties  from  the  mountains  with  an  ox 
team.  During  his  stay  at  the  Obenchain  mill,  seve- 
ral horses  belonging  to  ranchmen  mysteriously  dis- 
appeared and  it  was  suspected  that  he  belonged  to  a 
gang  engaged  in  stealing  and  running  off  horses. 
This  suspicion  became  so  strong  shortly  after 
"Happy  Jack"  went  to  Boulder,  that  a  warrant  for 
his  arrest  was  sworn  out  and  placed  in  Sheriff 
Joseph  Mason's  hand  to  serve.  Mr.  Mason  went  to 
Boulder  and  being  told  by  Mr.  Farrar  where  to  find 
the  man  he  was  looking  for,  the  sheriff  soon  had  him 
in  custody.     "Happy  Jack"  was  brought  back  to 

[115] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


Fort  Collins  and  given  a  preliminary  hearing  but  the 
evidence  brought  out  vi^as  not  thought  sufficient  to 
justify  the  court  in  binding  him  over  for  trial  in  the 
district  court,  and  he  was  discharged.  This,  how, 
ever,  did  not  allay  the  suspicion  that  he  was  impli- 
cated in  the  horse  theft.  This  feeling  became  so 
strong  that  "Happy  Jack"  made  up  his  mind  that 
the  best  thing  he  could  do  would  be  to  leave  the 
country  which  he  attempted  to  do.  He  started  for 
the  mountains  and  on  reaching  the  Lone  Pine 
stopped  at  the  Day  cabin  which  stood  on  what  is 
now  known  as  the  Harry  Gilpin-Brown  ranch,  and 
asked  for  something  to  eat.  Mrs.  Day,  who  was 
alone,  got  dinner  for  him  and  after  he  had  finished 
eating  he  inquired  the  way  to  Rabbit  creek.  Before 
leaving  the  cabin  he  brutally  attacked  and  criminally 
assaulted  Mrs.  Day,  leaving  her  in  a  semi-conscious 
state  in  which  condition  her  husband  found  her  a 
few  minutes  later.  On  recovering  consciousness  she 
told  her  husband,  in  broken  sentences,  what  had  oc- 
curred and  also  described  the  man.  She  also  told 
him  that  her  assailant  had  inquired  the  way  to  Rab- 
bit creek.  News  of  the  assault  upon  Mrs.  Day  was 
sent  post  haste  to  Fort  Collins  and  SherifiE  Mason 
and  Deputy  Sheriff  O.  P.  Yelton,  lost  no  time  in 
instituting  a  search  for  the  guilty  man.  They  knew 
from  the  description  given  of  him  by  Mrs.  Day 
that  it  was  "Happy  Jack"  and  supposed  he  was 
hiding  in  the  hills  somewhere  on  Rabbit  creek,  from 
the  fact  that  he  had  inquired  the  way  to  that  local- 
ity. "Happy  Jack",  however,  kept  on  up  the  road 
going  westward.  Just  about  sundown  he  stopped 
at  the  McNey  ranch,  where  Clerin  T.  Woods  was 
then  living,  and  asked  for  a  bowl  of  milk  which  he 
drank  and  went  on  his  way.  Later  in  the  evening 
word  came  to  Mr.  Woods  that  Mrs.  Day  had  been 
mistreated  and  that  Sheriff  Mason  was  going  to 
look  for  her  assailant  on  Rabbit  creek.  The  de- 
scription of  the  man  given  Mr.  Woods  fitted  the 
person  to  whom  he  had  given  the  bowl  of  milk  and 
he  knew  that  Sheriff  Mason  was  on  the  wrong  track, 
so  he  saddled  up  a  horse  and  rode  over  to  Rabbit 
creek  to  head  the  sheriff  off  and  set  him  on  the 
right  road.  Shortly  after  he  reached  Rabbit  creek 
the  sheriff  and  his  deputy  drove  up  and  were  told  by 
Mr.  Woods  that  the  man  they  were  looking  for  had 
gone  west  past  his  home.  The  sheriff  and  his  dep- 
uty turned  back  to  the  main  Livermore  road  and 
drove  west,  having  lost  much  time  in  the  trip  up 
Rabbit  creek.  They  kept  up  the  pursuit  to  Fred 
Smith's  mill  on  the  North  Lone  Pine  where  they 
found  "Happy  Jack"  fast  asleep.  The  next  morn- 
ing   they    started    for    Fort    Collins    with    "Happy 

[116] 


Jack"  in  custody.  When  they  arrived  at  the  Day 
cabin,  Mrs.  Day  was  asked  if  their  prisoner  was  the 
man  who  assaulted  her  and  she  promptly  replied 
that  it  was.  Sheriff  Mason  then  roped  "Happy 
Jack"  to  a  corral  post  and  giving  Mrs.  Day  his 
Remington  rifle,  told  her  to  shoot  him,  but  her 
nerve  failed  her  and  she  refused  to  take  his  life. 
"Happy  Jack"  was  brought  to  Fort  Collins  and  con- 
fined in  a  room  on  the  second  floor  of  the  Grout 
building  which  then  answered  for  church,  court 
house  and  jail.  That  night  he  was  taken  out  by 
about  a  dozen  determined  men  and  strung  up  twice 
by  a  rope  thrown  over  a  cottonwood  limb  on  the 
river  bottom,  in  an  effort  to  scare  him  into  a  confes- 
sion of  horse  stealing  and  to  tell  who  his  confed- 
erates were.  This  he  persistently  refused  to  do, 
saying  they  might  hang  him  and  be  damned,  but  he 
would  never  give  anything  away.  Failing  to  wring 
a  confession  out  of  him,  they  brought  him  back  to 
the  quarters  in  the  old  Grout  building.  The  next 
evening  while  being  given  his  supper  "Happy  Jack" 
complained  that  one  of  the  manacles  was  too  tight 
about  his  leg  and  that  it  hurt  him,  and  he  asked  his 
guard  to  loosen  it  a  little  which  was  done.  The 
prisoner  wore  high  top  boots  and  the  manacles  were 
fastened  outside  the  boot-leg,  just  above  the  ankle. 
Later  in  the  evening,  while  the  guard  was  at  supper 
in  one  of  the  lower  rooms,  "Happy  Jack"  succeeded 
in  working  one  foot  out  of  the  boot,  leaving  the 
manacle  around  the  bare  leg  and  loose  enough  to 
permit  of  his  slipping  the  foot  through  the  hopple, 
thus  liberating  it.  He  then  drew  on  his  boot  again 
and  taking  the  loose  manacle  in  his  hand,  he  -jumped 
from  the  window  to  the  ground  below  and  dis- 
appeared in  the  darkness.  In  lighting  he  fell  upon 
and  broke  through  some  boards  that  covered  an  out- 
side cellarway,  creating  a  racket  that  startled  the 
guards,  but  before  they  could  get  out  of  the  house 
and  run  around  to  the  back  side  of  it  to  see  what 
caused  the  racket,  "Happy  Jack"  had  scrambled  out 
and  made  off  as  fast  as  his  legs  could  carry  him. 
When  the  guards  turned  the  corner  of  the  building 
they  heard  footsteps  fleeing  in  the  direction  of  the 
mill  race  where  it  crosses  North  College  avenue, 
and  they  concluded  that  their  prisoner  had  given 
them  the  slip,  which,  upon  examination,  proved 
true.  An  alarm  was  sounded  and  very  soon  a  posse 
of  men  went  in  pursuit  of  the  fugitive,  but  owing  to 
the  darkness  and  the  number  of  hiding  places  in  the 
bushes  along  the  river  bank,  they  failed  to  find  him 
and  he  made  good  his  escape.  "Happy  Jack"  was 
never  seen  in  this  vicinity  after  that,  and  many  peo- 
ple believe  to  this  day  that  he  was  removed  from  the 


HISTORY    OF    LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


jail  by  a  band  of  avengers  who  took  him  to  Natural 
fort  on  the  Cheyenne  road  where  they  hung  him 
and  buried  his  body  in  a  concealed  grave.  This  is 
not  generally  accepted  as  truth,  however.  Those 
who  had  a  chance  to  know  all  the  circumstances  be- 
lieve that  he  made  his  escape  in  the  manner  related. 
A  circumstance  that  lends  strength  to  this  belief  is 
that  some  three  or  four  years  afterward  the  man- 
acles he  wore  were  found  near  Park  station,  twelve 
miles  northwest  of  Fort  Collins,  one  of  them  being 
broken.  The  supposition  is  that  after  the  fugitive 
had  outwitted  his  pursuers  and  gotten  far  enough 
away  to  feel  safe  from  recapture,  he  placed  the  man- 
acled limb  on  a  rock  and  broke  the  iron  with  a  stone, 
thus  freeing  himself  from  an  obstacle  to  fast  travel- 
ing and  also  from  evidence  that  he  was  an  escaped 
prisoner.  In  any  event,  "Happy  Jack"  was  never 
heard  from  afterwards  from  anyone  in  this  vicinity, 
but  the  stories  of  his  misdeeds  and  nervy  escape  have 
survived  and  are  often  recounted  by  old-timers. 

Larimer  County's  Only  Lynching 

One  thing  stands  out  in  blazing  characters  to  the 
credit  of  the  law  abiding  sentiment  which  prevailed 
among  the  early  settlers  of  Larimer  county,  and 
that  is  they  never  but  once  resorted  to  lynch  law  as 
a  means  of  suppressing  crime  or  redressing  public 
grievances.  Though,  as  is  frequently  the  case  on 
the  border,  lawless  acts  were  committed  and  the 
civil  and  moral  code  held  in  open  defiance  and  some- 
times bloody  tragedies  were  enacted,  yet  the  people 
restrained  their  cry  for  vengeance  and  allowed  the 
law  to  take  its  course,  except  in  one  instance.  The 
reason  for  this  may  be  found  in  the  fact  that  the 
pioneers  of  the  county  were,  as  a  rule,  from  the 
best  blood  of  the  Eastern  states,  where  the  courts 
were  in  full  swing,  where  human  life  was  protected 
by  stringent  laws,  the  rights  of  property  respected, 
where  obediance  to  the  mandates  of  the  constituted 
authorities  were  prerequisite  to  good  citizenship  and 
where  punishment  swiftly  followed  the  commission 
of  crimes.  Having  grown  up  under  such  conditions 
and  amid  such  environments,  and  having  an  in- 
grained abhorence  of  mob  rule,  and,  besides,  being 
engaged  in  the  peaceful  pursuit  of  agriculture  and 
stock  raising,  it  is  but  natural  that  they  should  ab- 
stain until  forbearance  ceased  to  be  a  virtue  at  least, 
from  taking  the  law  in  their  own  hands  and  visiting 
summary  penalties  upon  malefactors. 

The  single  instance  spoken  of  occurred  in  Fort 
Collins  in  the  spring  of  1888. 


On  Wednesday  the  4th  of  April,  that  year,  James 
H.  Howe,  a  mill-wright  by  occupation  who  had 
previously,  by  reason  of  his  general  bearing  and  skill 
as  a  mechanic,  stood  high  in  the  estimation  of  the 
community,  in  a  moment  of  drunken  frenzy  bru- 
tally and  cruelly  killed  his  wife  by  cutting  her 
throat  with  his  pocket  knife.  Mrs.  Howe  was  a 
most  estimable  vi^oman  and  was  greatly  beloved  by  a 
wide  circle  of  friends  in  the  community,  and  the 
news  of  the  tragedy  spread  all  over  the  town  like 
wildfire.  The  whole  town  was  aroused  and  in- 
furiated at  the  atrocity  of  the  crime  committed.  The 
Howe  family  lived  in  the  cottage  which  stands  on 
Walnut  street  just  east  of  the  Elks'  building.  The 
tragedy  occurred  about  one  o'clock  in  the  afternoon, 
and  business  in  town  was  almost  entirely  suspended 
during  the  remainder  of  the  day.  Groups  of  men, 
women  and  children  were  seen  in  all  parts  of  the 
town  discussing  with  bated  breath  the  details  of  the 
horrid  crime  that  had  startled  them  with  the  sud- 
denness of  the  unprovoked  brutality.  Every  nerve 
was  stretched  to  its  utmost  tension  and  every  muscle 
quivered  with  uncontrollable  excitement.  As  the 
news  spread  to  the  country  and  people  came  flocking 
into  town  to  learn  the  particulars,  the  excitement 
grew  more  intense  and  not  until  the  tragic  event 
which  ended  in  the  hanging  of  Howe  by  an  army 
of  infuriated  citizens  was  there  any  subsidence  of  the 
feeling  apparent. 

Howe  struck  his  wife  first  on  the  right  side  of  her 
face  with  the  knife,  inflicting  a  cruel  but  not  fatal 
wound.  He  then  changed  the  knife  to  his  left  hand 
and  plunged  the  blade  into  the  left  side  of  her  neck, 
severing  the  jugular  vein.  Mrs.  Howe  was  on  her 
hands  and  knees  on  the  ground  in  front  of  their 
house  and  Mr.  Howe  was  upon  her  back  with  his 
right  arm  about  her  waist.  After  stabbing  his 
victim  the  last  time,  Howe  got  up,  went  into  the 
house  and  laid  down  upon  a  bed  where  he  was  found 
when  taken  into  custody.  Mrs.  Howe  struggled 
to  her  feet  bleeding  profusely  and  cried  "murder" 
in  a  smothered  voice.  She  then  walked  to  the  gate 
passed  out  to  the  sidewalk  and  started  for  Linden 
street,  less  than  half  block  away.  She  had  taken 
but  a  few  steps  when  she  stopped  and  tried  to  catch 
hold  of  a  fence  post  for  support,  but  failing,  fell  to 
the  ground  face  down-ward  and  expired.  Gus 
Evans,  who  happened  to  be  driving  past  the  house, 
saw  the  conflict  and  at  once  gave  the  alarm.  Will- 
iam Nolan,  S.  H.  Seckner,  Thomas  Ogilvie,  Ed. 
Konsheim  and  Sam  Rugh  and  others  responded  to 
the  alarm  and  soon  appeared  at  the  scene  of  the 
tragedy.      Seeing  that  Mrs.   Howe  was  past  help, 

[117] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


they  turned  their  attention  to  securing  the  perpe- 
trator of  the  horrid  deed.  Charles  Barrett  and  A. 
R.  Chaffee  were  sent  around  to  the  back  door  and 
Seckner,  Ogilvie  and  Night-watchman  M.  Rinker 
entered  the  house  by  the  front  door.  They  found 
Howe  reclining  upon  the  only  bed  in  the  house  and 
immediately  took  him  into  custody.  Howe  offered 
no  resistance  to  arrest.  At  this  time  Under-Sheriff 
Lafe  Stultz  arrived  and,  with  the  help  of  by- 
standers, rushed  the  murderer  to  the  cell  in  the 
county  jail.  No  attempt  was  made  enroute  to  the 
jail  to  take  Howe  from  the  officer,  although  a  large 
and  terribly  excited  crowd  of  men  followed,  threat- 
ening vengeance. 

County  Coroner  Dr.  C.  P.  Miller,  summoned  a 
jury  composed  of  L.  J.  Hilton,  W.  T.  Rogers,  S.  E. 
Clark,  G.  T.  Wilkins,  John  McPherson  and  John 
G.  Lunn,  who  held  an  inquest  over  the  body  of  the 
murdered  woman,  returning  the  following  verdict: 

"The  said  jurors  upon  their  oaths  do  say  that  the 
deceased,  Mrs.  Eva  Howe,  came  to  her  death  about 
1  o'clock  of  Wednesday,  April  4th,  1888,  from  the 
effects  of  several  wounds  produced  by  a  sharp 
pointed  pocket  knife  in  the  hands  of  her  husband, 
James  H.  Howe." 

That  evening  at  8  o'clock  the  electric  lights  were 
cut  out  and  the  entire  city  plunged  into  darkness. 
Then  a  band  of  men,  some  of  them  masked,  gathered 
at  the  jail,  a  small  stone  structure  which  stood  at  the 
southeast  corner  of  Court  square.  Not  a  word  was 
spoken.  After  placing  Sheriff  Davy  and  his  aids  un- 
der guard,  an  assault  was  made  upon  the  jail  into 
which  an  entrance  was  soon  gained.  The  large 
iron  doors  which  separated  the  cell  corridor  from 
the  office,  offered  some  resistance,  but  with  cold 
chisel  and  hammer,  the  lock  bolts  were  cut  and  the 
door  was  swung  open.  The  same  means  were 
taken  to  open  the  door  of  the  cell  in  which  Howe 
was  confined  and  within  fifteen  minutes  from  the 
time  the  crowd  gathered  at  the  jail  the  sought  for 
victim  was  within  their  grasp.  Shrinking  and  terri- 
fied with  fear  and  piteously  crying  for  mercy,  the 
miserable  wretch  was  rushed  to  a  derrick,  standing 
at  the  south  end  of  the  new  court  house,  which 
had  been  used  in  lowering  large  blocks  of  flagging 
stone  into  the  basement  for  the  new  jail  floor.  A 
rope  with  noose  adjusted  had  already  been  placed  in 
position  and  under  this,  Howe,  still  begging  for 
mercy,  was  led.  The  noose  was  adjusted  about  his 
neck  and  a  score  of  men  gave  a  lurch  on  the  rope  and 
the  body  of  the  cruel  wife  murderer  shot  up  into  the 
air  like  a  rocket.  His  struggles  were  of  short  dura- 
tion.    After  life  was  extinct  the  crowd  dispersed  in 

[US] 


a  quiet  manner.  The  electric  lights  were  again 
turned  on  and  the  business  of  the  city  resumed. 

On  being  notified  of  what  had  taken  place  Cor- 
oner Miller  summoned  a  second  jury  of  inquest 
which  returned  the  following  verdict: 

"Said  jurors  upon  their  oaths  do  say:  J.  H. 
Howe  was  found  hanging  to  a  derrick  about  9:30 
p.  m.  of  April  4th,  1888.  He  came  to  his  death  at 
the  hands  of  an  infuriated  and  unknown  mob  by 
hanging.  Signed,  George  W.  Seibert,  Arthur  F. 
Brown,  Henry  J.  Wilterding,  Robert  Edwards,  J. 
T.  Murphy  and  C.  Rugh." 

This  ended  the  first  and  only  instance  in  the 
history  of  the  county  up  to  this  time,  in  which  the 
mandates  of  Judge  Lynch  were  duly  and  summarliy 
executed,  and  absolute,  though,  perhaps  irregular 
justice  was  meted  out  to  a  man  who  had  defied  the 
laws  of  God  and  man  in  shedding  innocent  blood. 

Mrs.  Howe's  body  was  shipped  to  the  home  of  her 
parents,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Oliver  Vanderwark,  at  Can- 
nington,  Ontario.  The  little  five  year  old  daugh- 
ter and  only  child  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Howe  was  taken 
back  to  the  home  of  its  grandparents  in  Canada. 

When  in  his  cups  Howe  shamefully  abused  and 
mistreated  his  wife.  He  went  home  only  the  even- 
ing before  in  a  state  of  beastly  intoxication  and 
threatened  to  kill  her  then.  The  next  morning,  on 
the  day  of  the  tragedy,  she  pleaded  with  him  to 
stay  at  home  and  not  go  upon  the  street  but  without 
avail.  Fearing  that  her  life  would  be  in  danger  if 
he  came  home  drunk  again,  she  began  packing  her 
own  and  little  daughter's  clothing  in  a  trunk  prepar- 
atory to  leaving  the  house,  not  expecting  him  to  re- 
turn before  a  late  hour  in  the  night.  He  came 
home,  however,  shortly  after  12  o'clock  and  found 
her  making  preparations  to  leave  him  which  so  en- 
raged him  that  he  killed  her.  It  was  evidently  a 
cold  blooded  premeditated  murder,  as  it  was  testi- 
fied at  the  inquest  that  he  was  not  drunk  when  he 
left  the  saloon  to  go  home.  Until  he  began  to  go 
down  hill  through  thirst  for  liquor,  he  seemed  to  be 
very  much  attached  to  his  wife  and  daughter  and 
both  he  and  his  wife  moved  in  the  best  social  cir- 
cles. But  the  demon  drink  had  transformed  him 
into  a  brute  and  he  met  what  he  deserved,  an  ig- 
nominious death  at  the  hands  of  a  mob. 

Three  More  Early  Day  Tragedies — 
Killing  of  Tom  Burris 

During  the  spring  round-up  of  1875,  there  oc- 
cured  on  the  Platte  below  the  town  of  Evans,  one  of 
those  deplorable  tragedies  that  frequently  stained  the 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


good  name  of  a  community  in  the  early  days, '  in 
which  one  man  was  killed  and  another  will  carry  to 
his  grave  the  recollection  of  having  taken  the  life  of 
a  human  being,  although  in  defense  of  his  own  life. 
The  principals  to  this  unfortunate  affair  were  Tom 
Burris,  the  victim,  and  John  Suiter,  the  slayer. 
Though  the  tragedy  occurred  in  Weld  county,  the 
principals  were  both  well  known  Larimer  county 
men,  and  the  affair  excited  a  great  deal  of  local  in- 
terest. Burris  was  a  stockman  and  lived  at  that 
time  on  the  place  now  owned  and  occupied  by  L.  E. 
Parker,  near  Timnath.  Suiter  was  a  young  man 
whose  home  was  with  his  parents,  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Peter  Suiter,  who  were  among  the  early  settlers  of 
the  Harmony  neighborhood,  and  is  a  brother  of 
Alderman  Ed.  T.  Suiter  of  this  city.  Inordinate 
doses  of  Evans  whiskey  was  the  immediate  cause 
of  the  shooting,  which  resulted  in  the  death  of 
Burris,  but  it  was  believed  that  it  was  only  a  ques- 
tion of  time  when  the  victim  would  be  either  Burris 
or  Suiter,  as  the  two  men  were  known  to  be  at 
enmity  and  that  Burris  had  frequently  threatened 
Suiter's  life.  Burris  had  the  reputation  of  being  a 
bad  man,  especially  when  in  liquor,  and  far  too 
handy  with  his  gun  for  the  peace  and  safety  of 
those  near  him  when  he  was  intoxicated.  On  the 
day  of  the  tragedy  Burris  left  the  round-up  camp 
and  went  to  Evans  where  he  proceeded  to  fill  up  on 
fighting  whiskey  and  some  of  the  men  who  were 
with  him  knowing  of  his  ungovernable  temper  and 
quarrelsome  disposition  when  in  liquor,  secretly 
took  his  revolver  and  refused  to  return  it  when  he 
realized  his  loss.  This  put  Burris  in  bad  temper 
and  he  had  no  sooner  gotten  back  to  camp  than  he 
began  to  pick  a  quarrel  with  a  cripple  named 
Johnson.  But  a  few  words  had  passed  between 
the  two  men  before  Burris  drew  a  bowie  knife  and 
started  for  Johnson,  who  ran  around  the  other  side 
of  the  camp  wagon  to  get  away  from  the  infuriated 
and  drink-crazed  man.  It  happened  that  Suiter 
was  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  covered  wagon  op- 
posite Burris  when  the  quarrel  began.  He  stood 
between  the  front  wheel  and  the  body  and  was 
in  the  act  of  reaching  into  the  wagon  after  supplies 
to  cook  for  supper.  As  Johnson,  who  was  being 
chased  by  Burris,  came  around  the  wagon  he  called 
to  Suiter  to  head  off  his  pursuer.  When  Burris 
saw  Suiter  wedge'd  in  between  the  wheel  and  wagon 
body  with  his  back  toward  him,  he  gave  up  the  chase 
after  Johnson  and  made  straight  for  Suiter  with 
his  knife  held  in  a  threatening  attitude.  Suiter 
paid  no  attention  to  Burris  until  the  latter  grabbed 


him  by  the  coat  collar  and  back  of  the  neck.  Then 
he  drew  his  revolver  and  throwing  it  over  his 
shoulder  fired  without  looking  around,  the  bullet 
striking  Burris  in  the  chin  and  passing  through  his 
neck  dislocated  his  spine  at  the  base  of  the  brain. 
At  the  moment  that  Suiter  fired,  Burris  had  his 
knife  raised  with  the  evident  intention  of  plunging 
it  into  the  former's  neck,  but  the  bullet  got  in  its 
work  first.  Burris  lived  several  hours  afterward, 
and  just  before  his  death  he  requested  someone  to 
pull  off  his  boots  so  that  his  father's  prophecy,  made 
when  Tom  was  a  boy,  that  he  would  some  day  die 
with  his  boots  on,  should  not  come  true.  Suiter 
was  promptly  arrested  and  given  a  preliminary  hear- 
ing before  a  Greeley  justice  of  the  peace,  who 
bound  him  over  to  the  District  court  for  trial  in 
the  sum  of  $10,000.  The  bond,  signed  by  nearly 
all  of  the  stockmen  of  the  county,  was  presented  to 
the  court  and  Suiter  was  released  from  custody  to 
await  the  action  of  the  grand  jury.  When  court 
convened  in  the  fall  the  grand  jury,  after  a  thorough 
investigation,  refused  to  find  a  true  bill  against  the 
slayer  of  Burris  and  he  was  exonerated  from  the 
charge  and  set  at  liberty — thus  ending  a  case  in 
which  the  sympathies  of  almost  the  entire  popula- 
tion of  Northern  Colorado  were  enlisted  in  behalf 
of  Suiter,  who  in  taking  Burris'  life  was  simply  de- 
fending his  own.  Mr.  Suiter  is  now  a  prominent 
citizen  of  Montana,  whither  he  went  several  years 
ago. 

Postmaster  Bariaut  Killed 

On  the  4th  of  March,  1886,  James  C.  Robertson, 
a  young  ranchman  living  on  Upper  Boxelder  creek, 
about  45  miles  northwest  of  Fort  Collins,  shot  An- 
thony Bariaut,  who  died  a  few  hours  later.  Bari- 
aut was  postmaster  at  Boxelder  and  on  the  morning 
of  the  day  stated,  Robertson  went  to  the  postofKce  to 
get  his  mail.  Robertson  and  Bariaut  got  into  an 
altercation  over  an  old  misunderstanding,  during 
which  Bariaut  said  "I  will  shoot  you."  He  went  to 
a  back  room  of  his  house  and  returned  with  a  gun 
which  he  placed  to  his  face  in  an  attitude  of  shoot- 
ing. Robertson,  on  the  alert,  drew  his  revolver  and 
shot  three  times,  only  two  of  bullets  taking  effect, 
one  in  the  abdomen  and  the  other  in  the  shoulder. 
Bariaut  died  on  Saturday,  March  6th,  and  Robert- 
son came  to  Fort  Collins  on  the  following  day  and 
surrendered  himself  to  Sheriff  Love.  He  asked  for 
an  investigation,  and  on  Monday,  March  8th, 
Coroner  I.  N.  Thomas,  accompanied  by  Dr.  Geo.  E. 
Bristol  county  physician.  Deputy  District  Attorney 
Knud   Patton,   Deputy   Sheriff  Zook   in   charge  of 

[119] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNT  Y 


COLORADO 


Robertson,  and  Judge  T.  M.  Robinson,  attorney 
for  the  self  accused  man,  went  to  Boxelder  to  hold 
an  inquest.  A  jury  composed  of  W.  H.  Bassett,  W. 
J.  Logan,  W.  W.  Pogue,  Dan  T.  Scully,  J.  Stout, 
and  Isaac  Adair  was  summoned  by  the  coroner  and 
at  once  proceeded  to  inquire  into  the  cause  or 
causes  of  the  tragedy.  After  hearing  all  the  evi- 
dence adduced,  the  jury  returned  a  verdict  that  the 
deceased  came  to  his  death  through  a  pistol  shot 
fired  by  James  C.  Robertson  in  self  defense.  It 
was  shown  at  the  inquest  that  Bariaut  was  a  quarrel- 
some man,  who  shot  on  short  notice,  and  that  he 
had  threatened  to  kill  Robertson.  The  incident 
created  a  good  deal  excitement  in  the  neighborhood 
at  the  time.  Bariaut  was  indicted  in  1882  by  the 
grand  jury  for  assault  to  commit  murder,  but  was 
permitted  to  plead  guilty  to  the  charge  of  assault 
and  was  fined  $100  and  costs. 

Murder  of  Stephen  McDonald 

On  the  6th  of  December,  1886,  Stephen  Mc- 
Donald, a  sheepherder  in  the  employ  of  William  B. 
Miner  at  the  latter's  ranch  twelve  miles  northwest 
of  Fort  Collins,  was  shot  and  killed  while  in  charge 
of  a  flock  of  2,000  sheep  on  the  prairie  about  four- 
teen miles  north  of  Fort  Collins,  by  Adam  Freder- 
icks, who  lived  on  the  Boxelder  two  miles  up  the 
creek  from  Bristol  station.  Mr.  McDonald's  sheep 
came  to  the  corrals  on  the  home  place  at  night  un- 
attended, and  a  search  for  the  herder  was  at  once 
instituted.  The  body  was  discovered  by  the  aid  of 
McDonald's  faithful  dog  which  had  remained  at 
the  side  of  his  dead  master  all  throughout  the  after- 
noon and  until  a  late  hour  at  night.  Fredericks  was 
arrested,  tried,  convicted  and  sentenced  to  life  im- 
prisonment in  the  state  penitentiary.  The  evidence 
adduced  at  the  trial,  though  circumstantial,  was 
thoroughly  convincing.  McDonald  had  married 
Lulu  Coy,  a  step-daughter  of  Frederick's,  but  the 
union  was  not  a  happy  one  and  the  shooting  grew 
out  of  family  difficulties. 

Indians  Kill  Lieutenant  Collins 

The  Overland  road  along  the  North  Platte,  from 
the  junction  of  the  South  Platte,  was  during  the 
summer  of  1865  the  scene  of  many  conflicts  and 
much  carnage  between  the  troops  stationed  along  the 
line  and  the  blood-thirsty  savages.  A  large  force 
of  Indians,  numbering  three  or  four  hundred,  col- 
lected 4t  Platte  Bridge,  near  where  the  city  of 
Casper,  Wyoming,  is  now,  and  threatened  the  safety 

[120] 


of  a  train  that  was  coming  down  the  river  from 
Fort  Bridger.  Casper  W.  Collins,  son  of  Colonel 
W.  O.  Collins,  who  had  just  been  promoted  to  a 
first  lieutenancy,  volunteered  to  take  command  of 
a  party  of  soldiers  and  attack  the  Indians  and  drive 
them  off.  Lieutenant  Collins  was  a  young  man 
twenty  years  of  age,  and  his  friends  tried  to  dissuade 
him  from  the  undertaking,  but  he  persisted  and  led 
the  attack.  The  fight  was  a  sharp  one  and  the 
troops  being  greatly  outnumbered,  were  driven  back 
with  a  loss  of  more  than  half  of  the  soldiers  either 
killed  or  wounded.  While  the  troops  were  falling 
back  in  an  effort  to  escape,  one  of  the  soldiers  was 
wounded  and  fell  from  his  horse,  but  he  called  out 
to  his  comrades,  "Don't  leave  me,  don't  leave  me." 
Collins  turned  his  horse  and  rode  to  the  place  where 
the  wounded  man  was  lying,  but  his  horse  becoming 
unmanageable,  ran  away  with  him,  going  at  a  fear- 
ful rate  toward's  Red  Cloud's  band  of  Sioux.  The 
powerful  grey  horse  soon  bore  his  rider  right  among 
the  hostiles  who  surrounded  and  killed  him.  A 
few  days  later,  after  the  Indians  had  been  driven 
away  by  a  stronger  force,  Lieutenant  Collins'  body 
was  found  about  a  mile  and  a  half  from  the  spot 
where  he  turned  to  rescue  the  wounded  trooper. 
The  body  had  been  stripped  of  the  bright  new  uni- 
form which  he  had  put  on  after  his  muster  as  first 
lieutenant  at  Fort  Laramie,  only  a  few  days  before. 
The  body  was  buried  at  the  Fort.  A  year  later  it 
was  shipped  to  his  native  town  in  Ohio  and  interred 
in  the  family  burying  ground.  The  city  of  Casper 
was  named  in  his  honor,  even  as  the  city  of  Fort 
Collins  was  named  in  honor  of  his  gallant  father. 
Colonel  W.  O.  Collins. 

Death  of  Col.  Collins 

The  following  letter  written  by  Mrs.  Catherine 
W.  Collins,  widow  of  the  late  Col.  William  O. 
Collins,  to  friends  in  Fort  Collins  tells  of  the  death 
of  her  gallant  husband. 

"Hillsborough,  Ohio, 
Gentlemen: —  May  8th,  1881. 

My  beloved  husband,  Col.  William  Oliver  Col- 
lins, died  October  26th,  1880.  He  was  indeed  an 
honored  resident  of  Hillsborough,  Ohio.  He  would 
have  been  extremely  gratified  to  have  learned  that 
the  "little  post"  he  established  away  out  on  the 
frontier  in  1864,  was  so  prosperous.  I  have  often 
thought  of  sending  a  notice  of  his  death  to  Fort 
Collins,  but  did  not  know  whom  to  address.  There 
must  still  be  living  in  Colorado  and  Wyoming  some 


HISTORY    OF    LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


who  cherish  a  memory  of  his  warm,  generous  nature, 
or  men  connected  with  his  regiment  that  will  recall 
his  faithful  discharge  of  duties  as  colonel,  and  his 
readiness  to  brave  every  danger  that  they  were 
called  upon  to  meet.  Will  you  be  good  enough  to 
have  a  notice  of  his  death  inserted  in  the  Courier. 
I  thank  you  sincerely  for  the  number  you  sent  me  of 
that  paper,  published  in  your  town  and  am  sure 
Fort  Collins  must  be  a  thriving  and  highly  moral 
place. 

Respectfully, 
Catherine  W.  Collins. 

Assessments  and  Taxes 

The  first  assessor  to  make  the  rounds  of  Larimer 
county  is  said  to  have  found  $6,000  worth  of  prop- 
erty subject  to  taxation.  This  was  in  1862,  shortly 
after  the  county  had  been  created  and  ett  off  by 
the  Territorial  Legislature.  The  records  do  not 
show  that  any  taxes  were  levied  that  year,  as,  in- 
deed there  could  not  have  been  for  the  reason  that 
the  board  of  county  commissioners  appointed  by 
Governor  Gilpin  failed  to  organize  and  therefore 
had  no  authority  to  order  a  levy.  It  was  not  until 
three  years  later,  in  1865,  the  year  immediately 
following  the  complete  organization  of  the  county 
for  judicial  purposes  that  an  assessment  was  made, 
and  the  assessor  that  year  found  property  to  the 
value  of  $168,167.50  subject  to  taxation.  Upon 
that  assessment  a  levy  of  23  mills  for  all  purposes 
was  made  and  collected.  The  abstract  of  that 
year's  assessment,  showing  the  character  and  species 
of  property  assessed,  follows: 

Value  of  improvements  on  public  lands $21,733.00 

Value  of  hay,   grain,   etc 3,980.00 

Value  of  clocks  and  watches 500.50 

Average  value  of  merchandise  for  preceding  12 

months     9,580.00 

Monies  and  credits 26,576.00 

Stocks,    shares,    etc 1,428.00 

289  wagons  and  vehicles 8,455.00 

217   horses    22,330.00 

27  mules   4,100.00 

I    asses      •  ■  50.00 

450  oxen   24,040.00 

819  cows  26,550.00 

728  calves  and  yearlings 9,857.00 

524  sheep    1,834.00 

21  swine   279.00 

All  other  personal  property 6,864.00 

Total $168,167.50 

To  the  list  returned  by  the  assessor  the  county 
treasurer  added  the  following  names  and  the  taxes 
assessed  against  them:  Joseph  Armajoe,  $11.12; 
William    Adolph,    $9.40;     George     F.     Brigham, 


$15.15;  Ben  Claymore,  $30.10;  Robert  Dickson, 
$4.80;  George  Frankford,  $2.50;  Gill  &  Goodrich, 
$9.37;  John  Hutchinson,  $2.50;  Michael  Jones, 
$17.10;  Antoine  Lebeau,  $10.78;  Clement  Lamory, 
$20.90;  John  Steed,  $3.65;  Wm.  E.  Thomas, 
$5.95;  C.  A.  Whedbee,  $11.47;  Joseph  Hazard, 
$2.50.  These  names  of  tax-payers  had  evidently 
been  overlooked  by  the  assessor.  These  added 
taxes  amounted  to  $157.29  and  were  apportioned 
to  the  following  funds :  County  poll,  $32 ;  military 
poll,  $8 ;  general  fund,  including  territorial  tax, 
$117.29. 

The  records  in  the  offices  of  the  county  clerk,  as- 
sessor and  county  treasurer  for  the  years  1865 
and  1866,  regarding  the  assessment,  collection  and 
distribution  of  taxes,  are  incomplete  and  it  does  not 
appear  that  a  regular  assessment  roll  for  either  of 
those  years  was  made  up  and  recorded  in  a  book. 
The  tax  lists  were  made  out  on  foolscap  paper  from 
schedules  gathered  by  the  assessor.  Only  three  of 
the  schedules  for  1865  have  been  preserved  and 
they  are:  John  J.  Ryan,  who  lists  $1,926.00; 
Peter  Anderson,  who  lists  $526.00 ;  C.  C.  Hawley, 
who  lists  $863.00. 

The  first  county  warrant  drawn  upon  the  treas- 
urer was  made  out  in  favor  of  Henry  Arrison,  from 
whom  the  board  of  county  commissioners  had  pur- 
chased a  log  building  for  the  use  of  the  county 
officers,  for  the  sum  of  $150.  This  log  building 
stood  a  few  rods  south  of  the  present  store  and 
postoffice  at  Laporte.  After  the  county  seat  had 
been  removed  to  Fort  Collins  this  building  was 
taken  down,  moved  to  the  south  side  of  the  river 
and  rebuilt.  It  is  now  a  part  of  Preston  A.  Taft's 
home.  The  warrant  drawn  to  pay  Arrison  for  this 
building  is  in  words  and  figures  as  follows: 

$150.00.  "Treasurer's  Department. 

To  the  Treasurer  of  Larimer  County: 
Pay  to  Henry  Arrison,  or  order,  one  hundred  and 
fifty  dollars,  on  account  of  building  in  Laporte  for 
County  purposes,  out  of  any  money  in  the  treasury 
not  otherwise  appropriated,  and  charge  the  same  to 
Auditor  and  this  shall  be  your  voucher. 

Issued  April  23,  1865. 
Attest:     J.   E.  Wild,   Chairman   of  the   Board   of 
County  Commissioners. 

H.  W.  Chamberlin^ 

County  Clerk." 

The  tax  list  for  1866  was  made  out  on  four 
sheets  of  legal  cap  paper,  fastened  together  with 
narrow  pink  ribbon,  and,  although  somewhat  faded 
by  age  is  still  legible.     As   an   index  of  financial 


[121] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


conditions  as  they  existed  in  those  days  and  because 
it  contains  many  names  that  are  familiar  to  a  num- 
ber of  the  present  residents  of  the  county,  it  is 
herewith  copied  at  length.  It  is  headed,  "Tax  List 
for   1866,   Larimer   County,   Colorado  Territory." 

The  list  follows:                              .  ^ 

Assessment  Tax 

G.   C.   Amer $100.00  $     1.35 

Allen  &   Mason 36,304  263.40 

J.   L.   Allen 857  11.69 

Phillip    Allen 405  5.47 

Ezekiel    Allen 55  72 

Abner  Allen    170  2.28 

Peter  Anderson    526  7.10 

Jas.  S.  Arthur 595  8.03 

John   Arthur    3,320  44.82 

Jas.  B.  Arthur 2,418  32.64 

Amer    &    Heath 2,602  35.13 

Geo.  E.  Buss 442  5.97 

Rock  Bush   1,400  18.90 

Sam'l  Bingham  648  8.75 

John  R.   Brown 708  9.49 

Reed   Berry    315  4.20 

W.  H.  Bacon 647  9.10 

Bartholf  &  Brugh 365  4.93 

Bennett  &  Davis 1,052  14.10 

J.   D.   Bartholf 2,349  31.68 

W.    A.    Bean 1,435  19.37 

John   Baxter    928  12.53 

Henry  Clayton   100            

Claymore  &  Provost 700  9.45 

Abijah   Chambers    150  2.03 

Thomas   Callan    100  1.35 

H.  B.  Chubbuck 1,842  24.87 

E.  D.  Clark 287  3.87 

Jas.  T.  Carwile 415  5.60 

Thomas    Cross    1,495  21.68 

A.  R.  Chaffee 2,030  27.40 

Chaffee    &    Crary 4,020  54.27 

John  Colomb  1,520  20.52 

John    G.    Coy 605  8.16 

Thomas    Cline    354  4.79 

Norton  Cooper    418  5.64 

H.  W.   Chamberlin 2,030  27.40 

William   Cosslett    168  2.27 

Benj.    Claymore 772  10.42 

John   Dillon    2,066  27.82 

Daniel   Davis    820  11.07 

Ebenezer    Davis 2,377  32.08 

John   Davis 597  8.06 

Simon   Duncan    1,440  19.44 

E.   P.   Drake 886  11.76 

Misha  Duval    325  4.39 

Peter   Decona    525  7.09 

James   Dickerson    1,200  16.20 

L.   G.   Davis 175  .  2.36 

J.   M.   Eaglin    827  11.16 

David   Earhart 170  2.30 

Fletcher  Earnest  260  3.25 

Joseph  Felteau    950  12.83 

Henry  Forbes    983  13.27 

Sebastian  Foster  2,395  32.33 

A.  R.  Foster 623  8.41 

Glenn  &  Talpey 4,025  54.34 

Frank   Gard    3,013  40.68 

Clinton  Graham  260  3.57 

Gill   &   Goodrich 965  13.03 

Charley  George   200  2.70 

Holladay  O.  M.  &  Ex.  Co 18,880 

James    Hildreth 835  11.27 

[122] 


Hopkins  &  Anderson 1,060  14.31 

J.  B.  Hart 351  4.74 

C.  C.  Hawley 863  11.65 

N.  J.  Hollowell  &  Bro 1,596  21.46 

Hilton  &  Co 2,567  34.42 

C.  M.  Hayden 290  3.68 

C.  W.  Hovyell 550  7.49 

John   Hahn    2,791  40.38 

John  Henderson   300  4.05 

Alfred  Howard 1,215  16.40 

David    Hershman 635  8.57 

Hershman    &   Bro 500  6.75 

E.    G.    Howard 155  2.07 

Abner  Loomis   4,106  55.43 

Antoine  Lanham    456  6.16 

C.  C.  Lawson 105  1.42 

Geo.   L.   Luce 1,927  26.01 

Charles    P.    Lee 520  7.12 

Loomis    &   Whedbee 630  8.50 

Geo.   W.    Leslie 80  1.08 

Antoine   Lebeau    575  7.35 

Revilo    Loveland    545  7.35 

Joseph  Musgrove   487  6.03 

Mobrey,  Mclntyre  &  Co 385  5.20 

Mariana  Modena   7,210  97.33 

Joseph    Markley 1,529  20.64 

H.    G.    McCon 285  3.85 

John  Maddox  &  Bro 1,341  18.09 

N.  H.  Meldrum 810  10.94 

Oliver  Morisette  420  5.67 

Wallis  Manville  880  11.87 

Melanguy  &  Co 1,598  21.54 

T.   R.    McBride 210            

David  Notman   1,596  21.45 

Wm.  B.   Osborn 3,770  58.88 

Peter    Onley 305  3.12 

Parish  &  Desinine 1,255  16.94 

Frank  Prager    1,719  23.20 

F.D.Peterson 530  7.05 

H.  C.  Peterson 605  8.17 

Joseph  Prendergast   675  9.11 

Adolph  Pillier    730  9.99 

John  B.  Provost 260  3.57 

Joseph   Rist 2,430  32.70 

John  J.  Ryan 3,338  45.06 

Elijah  Randall   630  8.50 

Smith  &  Knott 823  11.13 

A.  M.  Severance 1,300  17.55 

C.  C.    Smith 240  3.24 

Harry  Samuel  4,710  63.56 

William   Samuel    195  2.63 

Joseph    Shilton 115  1.55 

J.  M.  &  S.  W.  Smith 5,040  68.04 

Wm.  Sherman 795  10.63 

E.  C.  Smith 482  6.46 

Elizabeth  Stone 1,160  15.66 

Francisco  Salaria   616  8.31 

Stone  &  Heath 445  6.00 

Ezekiel  Stone  60  81 

G.  R.  Strauss 1,187  16.02 

J.  M.  &  F.  W.  Sherwood 5,500  74.25 

T.  M.  Smith 675  9.08 

Taylor  &  Smith 4,953  66.86 

E.  S.  Thorp  &  Bro 1,297  17.56 

W.  0.  Tuttle 715  9.15 

S.  A.  Tombs 80  1.08 

W.  D.  W.  Taft  &  Bro 2,285  30.84 

B.  T.  Whedbee 4,445  60.00 

D.  M.  Walker 1,100  14.85 

J.  E.  Washburn 1,925  28.88 

J.   E.   Wild 13,725  175.28 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY,    COLORADO 


William  Whitcomb   6,250  84.37 

Rufus  Wygal   S70  7.69 

J.   H.   Yeager 2,000  27.00 

Young  &  Decona 2,875  38.81 

A.  K.  Yount 3,646  49.22 

William  James  

Thomas  Johnson    1,555  20.94 

Antoine   Janis 1,367  18.45 

Michael  Jones  2,687  32.27 

It  must  be  remembered  that  when  the  foregoing 
list  was  made  out  there  was  not  an  acre  of  patented 
land  in  the  county  subject  to  taxation,  and  that  the 
list  embraced  only  improvements  on  public  lands, 
personal  property,  etc.  Up  to  the  year  1865,  no 
taxes  of  any  kind  were  levied  in  this  county,  all 
who  were  residents  previous  to  that  date  escaping  a 
visit  from  the  assessor  and  the  county  collector. 

From  1865  down  to  1872,  the  assessor  kept  no 
record  save  and  except  the  tax  schedules  he  took  in 
listing  the  property  of  the  taxpayers.  These  were 
not  transcribed  in  a  book,  but  were  tied  up  in 
bundles,  each  year  by  itself,  and  the  bundles  laid 
away.  From  these  schedules  the  county  clerk 
extended  the  taxes  on  sheets  of  paper,  fastened 
together  with  baby  ribbon  and  the  tax  list  thus 
made  out  was  turned  over  to  the  county  treasurer 
who  charged  himself  with  the  full  amount  named 
therein  and  proceeded  to  collect  from  individual 
taxpayers  named  in  the  list  the  sums  charged  against 
them.  These  lists  have  been  preserved  in  the 
county  treasurer's  office  and  are  open  to  inspec- 
tion. From  1872  down  to  the  present  time  a  com- 
plete record  has  been  kept  of  assessments,  tax  lists 
and  collections  for  each  year,  all  in  a  systematic  and 
businesslike  manner. 

The  following  table  shows  the  value  of  the  prop- 
erty assessed  and  the  total  amount  of  taxes  levied 
thereon  for  each  year  from  1872  to  1909,  inclusive: 

Assessed  Valuation  Total 

Year  of    Property  Tax 

1872 $    807,345  $  12,110.17 

1873 800,690  13,830.88 

1874 910,229  19,633.25 

1875 1,124,110  19,915.89 

1876 1,025,180  14,430.70 

1877 996,975  22,430.85 

1878 1,504,010  24,793.70 

1879 1,737,905  35,688.03 

1880 2,078,945  47,905.46 

1881 2,290,350  51,140.70 

1882 3,005,260  75,141.35 

1883 3,012,040  93,103.57 

1884 3,232,695  103,695.00 

1885 3,879,875  120,011.64 

1886 4,056,595  104,824.01 

1887 4,627,725  136,211.09 

1888 4,532,550  132,731.14 

1889 4,319,530  131,465.58 

1890 4,424,420  131,179.09 

1891 4,352,225  153,501.03 

1892 5,131,680  173,093.28 


1893 4,514,875  147,107.19 

1894 4,286,350  149,135.01 

1895 4,154,632  147,528.92 

1896 3,938,499  148,419.87 

1897 4,211,449  159,158.67 

1898 4,332,668  158,250.33 

1899 4,428,227  160,478.65 

1900 4,397,900  166,911.95 

1901 5,850,225  216,172.77 

1902 5,989,642  235,016.35 

1903 6,525,150  257,092.09 

1904 7,334,624  373,990.74 

1905 7,556,772  345,159.78 

1906 8,032,273  352,385.93 

1907 8,513,137  456,619.26 

1908 9,798,065  464,573.60 

1909 9,171,190  443,333.01 

The  total  value  of  assessable  property  as  re- 
turned by  the  county  assessor  in  1865,  the  first 
year  in  which  a  legal  assessment  was  made,  was 
$168,167.50.  These  figures  represent  the  full  cash 
value  of  the  property  assessed,  which  included  im- 
provements on  public  lands  and  personal  property. 
Not  an  acre  of  land  was  taxable  that  year  as  the 
title  still  remained  in  the  government.  It  was  not 
until  1868  that  lands  began  to  be  assessed  and  taxed, 
and  then  only  a  few  tracts  which  had  been  patented 
were  entered  on  the  assessment  roll.  By  way  of 
comparison  and  also  to  show  the  growth  of  the 
county  and  the  increase  in  taxable  property  since 
1865,  the  following  abstract  of  the  assessment  for 
1909  is  herewith  given: 

Abstract  of  Assessment  of  Larimer 

County,  Colorado,  for  the 

Year  1909 

111,205  acres  of  agricultural  land $2,327,575 

448,698  acres  of  grazing  land 691,295 

6,912  acres  of  meadow  land 39,915 

1,006  acres  of  mineral  land 6,570 

Improvements  on  lands  and  kinds  thereof 1,221,700 

Improvements   on   public   lands 19,425 

Town  and  city  lots 1,161,525 

Improvements    on    same 1,480,420 

91.68  miles  of  railroads,  as  returned  by  the  state 

board  of  equalization 625,870 

Other  railroad  property 121,153 

126.00  miles  of  telegraph  lines 4,200 

511,293  miles  of  telephone  lines 89,107 

50.09  miles  of  Express  Co 4,510 

Average  value  of  merchandise 393,790 

Average  amount  of  capital  employed  in  manu- 
factures       101,180 

9,948  horses   328,830 

516  mules 21,735 

18,965  cattle 186,605 

5,656  sheep 11,515 

1,726  swine 7,805 

159  other  animals 2,845 

985  musical  instruments 57,835 

742  clocks  and  watches 6,380 

Jewelry,    etc 965 

Moneys  and  credits 35,875 

[123] 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER        COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


4,270  carriages  and  vehicles 110,090 

Household  property  (over  and  above  exemption)  306,565 

All    other    property 108,045 

Bank  stocks  and  shares 317,350 

Total  valuation $9,681,675 

Deduct   the   amount   of   exemption   per   constitu- 
tional amendment  510,485 

Total  net  assessment 9,171,190 

Number  of  military  polls 2,254 

Valuation  and  Tax  of  County  and 
Cities  and  Towns 

Valuation  Tax 

County  of  Larimer $9,171,190  $168,749.89 

City   of    Fort   Collins 2,250,851  41,640.74 

City  of  Loveland 914,150  17,368.85 

Town   of   Berthoud 197,089  3,153.42 

Town   of   Wellington 112,631  3,153.67 

In  the  early  history  of  the  county  property 
assessed  for  taxation  was  placed  upon  the  roll  at  its 
full  cash  value,  while  at  the  present  time  it  is 
assessed  at  about  one-third  its  cash  value.  Upon 
that  basis  the  real  value  of  the  taxable  property  in 
the  county  in  1909  was  $28,513,570,  as  compared 
with  $168,167.50  in  1865.  The  exemption  noted 
in  the  foregoing  abstract  embraces  household  fur- 
niture of  a  less  value  than  $200,  which  every  house- 
holder is  entitled  to,  free  from  taxation. 

List  of  County  Officers  From  1864 
to  1910 

List  of  county  officers  elected  and  appointed 
from  the  organization  of  the  county  in  1864  to 
January  1st,  1910,  showing  also  beginning  and  end 
of  service: 

1864  to  1866 — Abner  Loomis,  County  Commis- 
sioner. 

1864  to  1867— William  A.  Bean,  County  Com- 
missioner. 

1864  to  1865 — John  Heath,  County  Commis- 
sioner. 

1864  to  1866— John  E.  Washburn,  Probate 
Judge. 

1864  to  1866 — Henry  Arrison,  Sheriff. 

1864  to  1866— B.  T.  Whedbee,  County  Treas- 
urer. 

1864  to  1866— H.  W.  Chamberlin,  County 
Clerk. 

1864  to  1866— H.  B.  Chubbuck,  County  Super- 
intendent. 

1864  to  1866 — James  M.  Smith,  Assessor. 

1865  to  1868 — J.  B.  Arthur,  County  Commis- 
sioner. 

[124] 


1866  to 

sioner. 
1866  to 
1866  to 
1866  to 
1866  to 

urer. 
1866  to 

1866  to 
intendent. 

1867  to 
missioner. 

1868  to 
1868  to 

urer. 
1868  to 
1868  to 

intendent. 
1868  to 
to 

pointed  Co 
1868  to 
1868  to 

sioner. 
1870  to 

missioner. 
1870  to 
1870  to 

Clerk. 
1870  to 
1870  to 
1870  to 

1870  to 
urer. 

1871  to 
missioner. 

1872  to 
1872  to 
1872  to 

urer. 
1872  to 
1872  to 
1872  to 
1874  to 

sioner. 
1874  to 
1874  to 

urer. 
1874  to 
1874  to 
1874  to 

intendent. 
1874  to 


1869 — Abner  Loomis,  County  Commis- 

1868— J.  M.  Sherwood,  Probate  Judge. 
1868— Edward  C.  Smith,  County  Clerk. 
1868— H.  B.  Chubbuck,  Sheriff. 
1868— B.  T.  Whedbee,  County  Treas- 

1868 — James  M.  Smith,  Assessor. 
1868— H.  B.  Chubbuck,  County  Super- 

1870— William  A.  Bean,  County  Com- 

1870— H.  B.  Chubbuck,  Sheriff. 
1870— B.  T.  Whedbee,  County  Treas- 

1870— J.  C.  Matthews,  County  Clerk. 
1870 — ^James  M.  Smith,  County  Super- 

1870 — ^William  D.  Hayes,  Assessor. 
1870— July    11,    Jesse    H.    Keist    ap- 
unty  Surveyor. 

1870— A.  F.  Howes,  Probate  Judge. 
1871 — J.   B.  Arthur,   County  Commis- 

1873 — Lorenzo    Snyder,    County   Com- 

1872— P.  D.  McClanahan,  Sheriff. 
1872— H.     W.     Chamberlin,     County 

1872 — James  M.  Eaglin,  Surveyor. 
1872 — C.  C.  Hawley,  Assessor. 
1872— A.  K.  Yount,  Probate  Judge. 
1872— B.  T.  Whedbee,  County  Treas- 

1874 — F.  W.  Sherwood,  County  Com- 


1874 — Joseph  Mason,  Sheriff. 
1874— J.  C.  Matthews,  County  Clerk. 
1874— T.    M.    Smith,    County    Treas- 

1874 — F.  C.  Avery,  Surveyor. 
1874 — N.  H.  Meldrum,  Assessor. 
1874— A.  F.  Howes,  Probate  Judge. 
1877 — J.    G.    Coy,    County    Commis- 

1876— Joseph  Mason,  Sheriff. 

1876— W.    B.   Osborn,    County  Treas- 

1876— A.  H.  Patterson,  County  Clerk. 
1876 — Jack  Dow,  County  Surveyor. 
1876 — R.  W.  Bosworth,  County  Super- 

1876 — H.  B.  Chubbuck,  Assessor. 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER    COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


1874  to  1876 — J.  E.  Remington,  Probate  Judge. 

1875  to  1878 — Noah  Bristol,  County  Commis- 
sioner. 

1876  to  1879 — Lewis  Cross,  County  Commis- 
sioner. 

1876  to  1877— W.  B.  Osbom,  County  Treas- 
urer. 

1876  to  1877— C.  P.  Scott,  County  Clerk. 

1876  to  1877— Jack  Dow,  Surveyor. 

1876  to  1877 — Joseph  Murray,  Assessor. 

1876  to  1877 — Jay  H.   Bouton,  County  Judge. 

1876  to  1877— Marcus  Coon,  Sheriff. 

1878  to  1881— Revilo  Lovland,  County  Com- 
missioner. 

1878  to  1880— James  Sweeney,  Sheriff. 

1878  to  1880— Albert  B.  Tomlin,  County 
Treasurer. 

18/8  to  1880— C.  P.  Scott,  County  Clerk. 

1878  to  1880— Jack  Dow,  Surveyor. 

1878  to  1880— E.  N.  Garbutt,  County  Super- 
intendent. 

1878  to  1880— E.  Z.  Hills,  Assessor  (Died  in 
office  and  W.  B.  Osborn  appointed. 

1878  to  1881— Jay  H.   Bouton,   County  Judge. 

1879  to  1882— William  B.  Miner,  County  Com- 
missioner. 

1880 — W.     C.     Stephenson,     Coronor, 
(appointed). 

1880 — W.  B.  Osborn,  Assessor  (appointed). 

1880  to  1883— A.  S.  Benson,  County  Com- 
missioner. 

1880  to  1882— C.  P.  Scott,  County  Clerk. 

1880  to  1882— James  Sweeney,  Sheriff. 

1880  to  1882— Russel  Fisk,  Coroner. 

1880  to  1882— E.  N.  Garbutt,  County  Treas- 
urer. 

1880  to  1882— W.  B.  Sutherland,  County  Super- 
intendent. 

1880  to  1882— F.  C.  Avery,  County  Surveyor 
(resigned.) 

1880  to  1882 — Lewis  Kern,  Assessor. 

1881  to  1883— H.  P.  Handy,  County  Sur- 
veyor  (appointed.) 

1881  to  188^1 — L.  E.  Denslow,  County  Judge; 
Died  before  taking  oiSce,  and  T.  M.  Robinson  ap- 
pointed Jan.  11.  1881. 

1881  to  188-^1 — Noah  Bristol,  County  Commis- 
sioner. 

1882  to  1884— John  H.  Nelson,  Surveyor. 
1882  to  1885— T.  M.  Robinson,  County  Judge. 
1882  to  1885— Henry  T  Miller,  County  Com- 
missioner. 


1882  to  1884 — T.  J.  Montgomery,  County 
Clerk. 

1882  to  1884 — ^James  Sweeney,  Sheriff. 

1882  to  1884 — George  S.  Thompson,  County 
Superintendent. 

1882  to  1884— Ed.  N.  Garbutt,  County  Treas- 
urer. 

1882  to  1884— C.  H.  Marsh,  Coroner. 

1882  to  1884 — H.  S.  Youtsey,  Assessor. 

1883  to  1886— John  B.  Harbaugh,  County  Com- 
missioner. 

1882  to  1884— A.  Q.  McGregor,  County  Judge. 

1883  to  1885- W.  W.  Cole,  Coroner. 

1884  to  1886— T.  J.  Montgomery,  County 
Clerk. 

1884  to  1887— Jefferson  McAnelly,  County 
Judge. 

1884  to  1886— E.  N.  Garbutt,  County  Treas- 
urer. 

1884  to  1886— John  H.  Nelson,  Surveyor. 

1884  to  1886— W.  H.  McCreery,  County  Super- 
intendent. 

1884  to  1886— H.  S.  Youtsey,  Assessor. 

1884  to  1887— David  Patton,  County  Commis- 
sioner. 

1884  to  1886 — James  Sweeney,  Sheriff. 

1884  to  1886— C.  H.  Marsh,  Coroner. 

1885  to  1888— W.  P.  Bosworth,  County  Com- 
missioner. 

1886  to  1888— J.  E.  DuBois,  County  Clerk. 
1886  to  1888— Eph  Love,  Sheriff. 

1886  to  1888—1.  N.  Thomas,  Coroner. 

1886  to  1888— A.  A.  Edwards,  County  Treas- 
urer. 

1886  to  1888— W.  H.  McCreery,  County  Super- 
intendent. 

1886  to  1888 — Emil  Loescher,  Surveyor. 

1886  to  1888— T.  A.  Gage,  Assessor. 

1886  to  1889— A.  S.  Benson,  County  Commis- 
sioner. 

1887  to  1890— Jefferson  McAnelly,  County 
Judge. 

1887   to   1890— H.   H.   Scott,   County  Commis- 


1888  to  1890- 
1888  to  1890- 
1888  to  1890- 
1888  to  1890- 

urer. 

1888  to  1890- 

tendent. 

1888  to  1890- 
1888  to  1890- 


-J.  E.  DuBois,  County  Clerk. 

-T.  H.  Davy,  Sheriff. 

-C.  P.  Miller,  Coroner. 

—A.  A.   Edwards,   County  Treas- 

-S.  T.  Hamilton,  County  Superin- 

-Emil  Loescher,  Surveyor. 
—Abraham  Lefever,  Assessor. 


[125] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


1888  to  1891— T.  B.  Bishopp,  County  Commis- 
sioner. 

1889  to  1892— Frank  G.  Bartholf,  County 
Commissioner. 

1890  to  1893— H.  I.  Garbutt,  County  Judge. 
1890  to  1892— J.  T.  Budrow,  County  Clerk. 
1890  to  1892— T.  H.  Davy,  Sheriff. 

1890  to  1892— W.  T.  Gough,  Coroner. 
1890  to  1892— F.  P.  Stover,  County  Treasurer. 
1890  to  1892— S.  T.  Hamilton,  County  Super- 
intendent. 

1890  to  1892— A.  E.  Sprague,  Surveyor. 
1890  to   1892— A.  Lafever,  Assessor. 

1890  to  1893— F.  R.  Baker,  County  Commis- 
sioner. 

1891  to  1894— George  F.  Scott,  County  Com- 
missioner. 

1892  to  1894— J.  T.  Budrow,  County  Clerk. 
1892  to  1894— W.  T.  Branson,  Sheriff. 
1892  to  1894— Walter  Gough,  Coroner. 

1892  to  1894— F.  P.  Stover,  County  Treasurer. 
1892  to  1894— S.  T.   Hamilton,  County  Super- 
intendent. 

1892  to  1894— William  Rist,  Surveyor. 
1892  to  1894— D.  A.  Weaver,  Assessor. 

1892  to  1895— W.  R.  Thornton,  County  Com- 
missioner. 

1893  to  1894— F.  P.  Stover,  County  Treas- 
urer. 

1893  to  1896— Jay   H.   Bouton,   County  Judge. 

1893  to  1896— John  G.  Coy,  County  Commis- 
sioner. 

1894  to  1897— Jay  H.  Swan,  County  Commis- 
sioner. 

1894  to  1896— Frank  D.  Abbott,  County  Clerk. 

1894  to  1896— W.  T.  Branson,  Sheriff. 

1894  to  1896— Walter  Gough,  Coroner. 

1894  to  1896— John  L.  Thomas,  County  Treas- 
urer. 

1894  to  1896— S.  T.  Hamilton,  County  Super- 
intendent. 

1894  to  1896— William  Rist,  Surveyor. 

1894  to  1896 — David  A.  Weaver,  Assessor. 

1894  to  1895— F.  N.  B.  Scott,  County  Com- 
missioner. 

1895  to  1896 — Frank  Baxter,  County  Commis- 
sioner. 

1895  to  1898— A.  F.  Brown,  County  Commis- 
sioner. 

1896  to  1899— Frank  E.  Baxter,  County  Com- 
missioner. 

1896  to  1899— George  W.  Bailey,  County 
Judge. 

[126] 


1896  to  1898— F.  D.  Abbott,  County  Clerk. 

1896  to  1898— J.  L.  Thomas,  County  Treas- 
urer. 

1896  to  1898— C.  H.  Bond,  Sheriff. 

1896  to  1898— J.  M.   McCreery,  Assessor. 

1896  to  1898— Etta  Wilson,  County  Superin- 
tendent. 

1896  to  1898— D.  A.  McLean,  Coroner. 

1896  to  1898— William  Rist,  Surveyor. 

1897  to  1900— F.  W.  Sherwood,  County  Com- 
missioner. 

1898  to  1901— John  Hahn,  County  Commis- 
sioner. 

1898  to  1900— H.   E.   Tedmon,   County  Clerk. 

1898  to  1900— H.  S.  Youtsey,  County  Treas- 
urer. 

1898  to  1900— C.  H.  Bond,  Sheriff. 

1898  to  1900— J.  M.  McCreery,  Assessor. 

1898  to  1900— Etta  Wilson,  County  Superin- 
tendent. 

1898  to  1900— Walter  Gough,  Coroner. 

1898  to  1900— William  Rist,  Surveyor. 

1899  to  1902— J.  Mack  Mills,  County  Judge. 

1899  to  1902— Aaron  Kitchel,  County  Commis- 
sioner. 

1900  to  1903 — J.  H.  Sargisson,  County  Commis- 
sioner. 

1900  to  1902— H.   E.   Tedmon,   County  Clerk. 

1900  to  1902— Clark  Smith,  County  Treasurer. 

1900  to  1902— John  A.  Cross,  Sheriff. 

1900  to  1902— M.  Y.  Osborn,  Assessor. 

1900  to  1902— Mary  E.  Gill,  County  Super- 
intendent. 

1900  to  1902— Walter  Gough,  Coroner. 

1900  to  1902— Emmet  McAnelly,  Surveyor. 

1901  to  1904— John  Y.  Munson,  County  Com- 
missioner. 

1902  to 
missioner. 

1902  to  190' 

1902  to  190 

1902  to  190. 

1902  to  190 

1902  to  190 
tendent. 

1902  to  1904— H.  M.  Balmer,  Coroner. 

1902  to  1904— E.  C.  McAnelly,  Surveyor. 

1903  to  1907— Charles  Gilpin-Brown,  County 
Commissioner. 

1902  to  1905— John  E.  Ramer,   County  Clerk. 

1902  to  1905— Clark  Smith,  County  Treasurer. 

1902  to  1905— John  A.  Cross,  Sheriff. 

1902  to  1905— John  W.  Seaman,  Assessor. 


1905—1.   W.   Bennett,    County   Com- 


John   E.   Ramer,   County  Clerk. 
Clark  Smith,  County  Treasurer. 
John  A.  Cross,  Sheriff. 
John  W.    Seaman,   Assessor. 
Mary  E.   Gill,  County  Superin- 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


1902 

to 

1905- 

tendent. 

1902 

to 

1905- 

1902 

to 

1905- 

1905 

to 

1909- 

sioner. 

1905 

to 

1909- 

sioner. 

1905 

to 

1909- 

Judge. 
1905 

to 

1907- 

1905 

to 

1907- 

1905 

to 

1907- 

1905 

to 

1907- 

1905 

to 

1907- 

tendent. 

1905 

to 

1907- 

1905 

to 

1907- 

1906 

to 

1907- 

Poor  Farm 

^, 

1906 

to 

1907- 

1906 

to 

1907- 

torneys. 
1906 

to 

1907- 

1906 

to 

1907- 

1907 

to 

1911- 

missioner. 

1907 

to 

1909- 

1907 

to 

1909- 

1907 

to 

1909- 

1907 

to 

1909- 

1907 

to 

1909- 

intendent. 

1907 

to 

1909- 

1907 

to 

1909- 

1907 

to 

1908- 

cian. 

1907 

to 

1908- 

1907 

to 

1908- 

spector. 
1907 

to 

1908- 

torneys. 
1908 

to 

1909- 

torneys. 
1908 

to 

1909- 

cian. 

1908 

to 

1909- 

Poor  Farm 

1908 

to 

1909- 

1909 

to 

1913- 

missioner. 

1909 

to 

1913- 

sioner. 

-Mary  E.  Gill,  County  Superin- 

-H.  M.  Balmer,  Coroner. 
-Emmet  C.  McAnelly,  Surveyor. 
-I.  W.  Bennett,  County  Commis- 

-J.  Y.  Munson,  County  Commis- 

-Clarence     V.     Benson,     County 

-John  E.   Ramer,   County  Clerk. 
-J.  M.  McCreery,  Sheriff. 
-T.  C.  Ramey,  County  Treasurer. 
-John  W.  Seaman,  Assessor. 
-Mary  E.   Gill,   County  Superin- 

-Abner  E.  Sprague,  Surveyor. 
-H.  M.  Balmer,  Coroner. 
-Robert    Walsh,     Superintendent 

-C.  R.  Blackwell,  Janitor. 
-Garbutt  &  Clammer,  County  At- 

-A.   E.   Carter,   Horti.   Inspector. 
-L.  W.  Fee,  County  Physician. 
-K.  J.  McCallum,  County  Com- 

-Frank  J.  Burnett,  County  Clerk. 
-J.  M.  McCreery,  Sheriff. 
-T.  C.  Ramey,  County  Treasurer. 
-Stewart  C.   Case,  Assessor. 
-Pearl  L.  Moore,  County  Super- 

-A.  E.  Sprague,  Surveyor. 
-W.  T.  HoUowell,  Coroner. 
-Thomas   Purcell,   County  Physi- 

-C.  R.  Blackvi^ell,  Janitor. 
-Frank    Y.    Mosely,    Horti.    In- 

-Leftvi'ich    &   Crose,    County   At- 

-Leftwich   &   Crose,    County  At- 

-Thomas  Purcell,   County  Physi- 

-Robert     Walsh,     Superintendent 

-C.  R.  Blackwell,  Janitor. 
-Frank  A.  Chaffee,  County  Com- 

-L.   H.  Fagan,  County  Commis- 


1909  to  1913- 

1909  to  1911- 

1909  to  1911- 

Treasurer. 

1909  to  1911- 

1909  to  1911- 

1909  to  1911- 

intendent. 

1909  to  1911- 

1909  to  1911- 

1909  to  1910- 

1909  to  1910- 

1909  to  1910- 

cian. 

1909  to  1910- 

1909  to  1910- 
dent  Poor  Farm. 

1910  to  1911- 
1910  to  1911- 

Physician. 

1910  to  1911- 

1910  to  1911- 

Poor  Farm. 


-Fred  W.  Stover,  County  Judge. 
-Frank  J.  Burnett,  County  Clerk. 
-Frank     W.      Moore,      County 

-C.  A.   Carlton,   Sheriff. 

-S.  C.  Case,  Assessor. 

-Pearl  L.  Moore,  County  Super- 

-W.  T.  Hollowell,  Coroner. 
-E.   L.   Stevens,   Surveyor. 
-J.  J.  Herring,  County  Attorney. 
-C.  R.  Blackwell,  Janitor. 
-Thomas  Purcell,   County  Physi- 

-F.  Y.  Mosely,  Horti.  Inspector. 
-John    F.    Campbell,    Superinten- 

-J.  J.  Herring,  County  Attorney. 
-Dr.     Curtis    Atkinson,     County 

-C.  R.  Blackwell,  Janitor. 

-J.    F.   Campbell,    Superintendent 


Senators  and  Representatives  From 
Organization  of  the  State 


1877  to 
1877  to 
1879  to 
1879  to 
1881  to 

tative. 
1883  to 
1883  to 
1885  to 

resentative, 
1887  to 
1887  to 
1889  to 

tive. 
1891  to 
1891  to 
1893  to 
1895  to 
1895  to 
1897  to 
1899  to 
1899  to 

1901  to 
tive. 

1902  to 
tive  (to  fill 


1879 — Norman   H.   Meldrum,   Senator. 
1879— N.  C.  Alford,  Representative. 
1883— L.  R.  Rhodes,  Senator. 
1881 — Lucas  Brandt,  Representative. 
1883 — ^Thomas   H.  Johnson,   Represen- 

1885 — ^Aaron  S.  Benson,  Representative. 
1887 — H.  E.  Tedmon,  Senator. 
1887— William    H.    McCormick,    Rep- 

1891 — Edwin  A.  Ballard,  Senator. 
1899 — R.  W.  Orvis,  Representative. 
1891 — John  M.  Davidson,  Representa- 

1895— A.  F.  Howes,  Senator. 

1893 — C.  J.   Chapman,   Representative. 

1895 — Adolph   Donath,   Representative. 

1899 — J  as.  C.  Evans,  Senator. 

1897— Robt.  D.  Miller,  Representative. 

1899 — Edwin  S.  Allen,  Representative. 

1903 — J  as.  C.  Evans,  Senator. 

1901 — Jay  P.  Harter,  Representative. 

1903 — Robert   S.   Weldon,   Representa- 

1903 — T.  J.  Montgomery,  Representa- 
vacancy. ) 


[127] 


HISTORY    OF    LARIMER    COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


-William  A.  Drake,  Senator. 
-Geo.    H.   Van   Horn,    Represen- 


1902  to  1903— Jas.  B.  Arthur,  Senator   (to  fill 
vacancy. ) 

1903  to  1907— A 
1903  to  1905- 

tative. 

1905  to  1907- 
1907  to  1911- 
1907  to  1909- 
1909  to  1911- 


-J.   M.  Wolaver,  Representative. 
-Wm.  A.  Drake,  Senator. 
-J.   M.  Wolaver,   Representative. 
-W.   H.  Trindle,  Representative. 


Public  Schools 

The  settlers  in  Larimer  county,  at  the  close  of 
1860,  were  mostly  single  men,  few  in  number  and 
w^idely  separated,  so  that  even  those  who  had  fam- 
ilies of  children  deemed  it  inadvisable  and,  in  fact, 
impracticable  to  attempt  to  establish  schools  for 
their  little  ones.  They  knew  that  any  such  an 
attempt  would  prove  a  failure  for  several  reasons. 
First,  there  were  at  that  time  not  to  exceed  half 
a  dozen  white  children  of  school  age  in  the  entire 
county,  and  their  homes  were  so  far  apart  they 
could  not  readily  be  gotten  together  in  one  place 
to  receive  instruction.  Second,  the  county  and  the 
territory  were  unorganized,  consequently  there 
were  no  public  funds  for  use  in  supporting  schools, 
and  third,  the  industrial  possibilities  of  the  county 
were  so  little  known  at  that  period  and  the  minds  of 
the  settlers  here  so  unsettled  regarding  the  future 
that  the  first  thought  of  parents  was,  "How  shall  we 
provide  ourselves  and  children  with  food  and  cloth- 
ing and  protection  from  the  dangers,  seen  and  un- 
seen, that  surround  us  on  all  sides  in  this  new, 
untried  and  undeveloped  region  ?"  Necessarily, 
they  gave  but  little  thought  to  schools  and  churches, 
although  the  moral  and  intellectual  training  of  the 
few  children  here  were  by  no  means  entirely 
neglected.  There  were  private  schools  in  the  fam- 
ilies of  children,  and  the  brave,  thoughtful  mothers 
gave  them  such  instruction  in  the  fundamentals  as 
their  time,  talents  and  opportunities  permitted. 
Many  of  the  men  and  women  in  the  county  today, 
descendants  of  the  pioneers,  are  indebted  to  their 
patient,  persevering  and  self-sacrificing  mothers,  who 
so  thoughtfully  and  carefully  laid  the  foundation 
for  their  education  and  future  career,  as  they  gath- 
ered the  little  ones  about  their  knees  at  otherwise 
unoccupied  moments  in  the  early  days,  and  im- 
parted to  them  the  rudiments  of  practical  knowledge. 
Later  on,  as  the  county  became  more  thickly  settled 
and  conditions  had  so  improved  that  public  schools 
were  possible,  we  find  the  pioneers  earnestly  setting 
about  the  organization  of  school   districts  and   the 

[128] 


erection  of  school  houses,  in  which  their  children 
might  be  given  proper  instruction.  These  school 
houses  were  often  rude,  log  structures,  but  they 
were  made  comfortable  and  answered  a  good 
purpose. 

As  is  elsewhere  stated,  the  first  school  district 
organized  in  the  county  was  formed  and  estab- 
lished in  the  Big  Thompson  valley  in  1868.  A 
rude  cabin  was  built  in  which  the  first  public  school 
was  opened  and  taught  that  year.  Unfortunately, 
the  name  of  the  teacher  has  been  forgotten  and 
no  mention  is  made  in  the  records  of  the  county 
superintendent's  office  of  the  number  of  months  of 
school,  nor  of  the  number  of  children  attending  it. 
It  would  be  interesting  to  know  the  name  of  that 
teacher  and  also  the  names  of  the  pupils,  but  these 
have  passed  from  the  memories  of  the  oldest  inhab- 
itant. The  teacher  could  not  have  been  seriously 
overworked,  however,  for  in  1869,  the  second  year 
of  the  school's  history,  Lucas  Brandt,  the  secre- 
tary, reported  sixteen  children  of  school  age  in  the 
district.  Five  other  districts  appear  to  have  been 
created  that  year,  the  six  having  an  aggregate 
school  population  of  95.  The  territory  included  in 
some  of  these  districts  embraced  hundreds  of  square 
miles.  The  western  boundary  of  District  No.  1 
was  the  summit  of  the  Continental  Divide,  nearly 
one  hundred  miles  distant  from  the  school  house. 

The  pioneers  were  mainly  from  the  Middle  West- 
ern states  and  most  of  them  American  born.  Many 
of  them  were  educated  men  and  their  wives  and 
daughters  cultured  and  refined  ladies.  Naturally, 
their  first  thought  after  becoming  firmly  established 
in  this  wild  western  land,  more  than  half  a  thou- 
sand miles  beyond  the  borders  of  civilization,  was 
to  provide  means  for  giving  their  children  the  school 
advantages  which  they  themselves  had  enjoyed  in 
childhood  in  their  far  away  Eastern  homes.  Hence, 
we  see  them  as  soon  as  there  were  children  enough 
in  contiguous  territory  to  warrant  the  formation  of 
a  school  district,  banding  themselves  together  in  an 
effort  to  establish  public  schools.  They  taxed 
themselves  heavily  in  erecting  even  rude  school 
buildings,  in  paying  teachers'  salaries  and  in  meeting 
other  necessary  expenses.  But  what  a  heritage 
they  have  left  us!  Today,  Larimer  county  re- 
joices in  a  public  school  system  with  its  rural, 
grade  and  high  schools,  that  are  equal  to  the  best  in 
any  state  in  the  Union,  and  far  superior  in  point 
of  efficiency  and  the  results  obtained  to  those  of 
many  of  the  commonwealths  of  the  United  States. 
Its  school  population  has  increased  from  95  in  1869 
to  nearly  9,000  in  1910,  and  handsome  brick,  stone 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY,    COLORADO 


and  frame  buildings,  modern  in  all  respects,  con- 
veniently located,  well  arranged  and  thoroughly 
equipped  with  up-to-date  appliances,  have  taken  the 
places  of  the  sod  and  log  huts  which  served  such 
a  useful  purpose  in  the  pioneer  days.  At  the  pres- 
ent time  there  are  fifty-three  organized  school  dis- 
tricts in  the  county  in  which  schools  are  maintained 
from  four  to  nine  months  each  year.  In  three  of 
these  districts.  Fort  Collins,  Loveland  and  Berthoud, 
High  schools  have  been  conducted  for  several  years, 
whose  courses  of  study  articulate  closely  with  the 
higher  institutions  of  learning  in  the  state.  All  of 
them  are  in  the  accredited  class,  and  their  graduates 
pass  directly  into  the  freshman  year  at  the  State 
University.  About  one-half  of  the  districts  support 
graded  schools  in  which  work  is  carried  through 
the  tenth  grade,  and  all  of  them  offer  a  thorough 
common  school  course,  thus  fitting  pupils  for  the 
High  schools,  the  Normal  school  or  the  Agricul- 
tural college.  A  course  of  study  has  been  adopted 
which  is  practically  in  general  use  all  over  the 
county  and  which  not  only  adds  uniformity  to  the 
system,  but  also  affords  to  every  child  completing 
the  prescribed  course  the  requisites  of  intelligent 
citizenship  and  the  knowledge  necessary  in  the  ordi- 
nary business  affairs  of  life.  Nearly  all  of  the 
schools  in  the  county  are  supplied  with  free  text 
books,  and  all  of  them  will  be  so  supplied  within  a 
very  short  period  of  time.  Free  text  books  enables 
the  teacher  to  classify  her  school,  do  better  work  and 
get  better  results.  The  free  text  book  system  also 
places  all  the  pupils  upon  a  common  level  so  far 
as  text  books  are  concerned.  No  distinction  is  made 
between  rich  and  poor;  all  are  seated  at  the  same 
desks,  receive  the  same  instruction  and  have  like 
advantages. 

Many  of  the  graded  schools  and  all  of  the  High 
schools  have  libraries  to  which  new  books  are 
added  from  time  to  time  and  to  which  pupils  have 
free  access  under  appropriate  regulations.  These 
libraries  contain  between  7,000  and  8,000  choice 
and  wisely  selected  books.  No  state  in  the  Union 
offers  to  the  young  better  educational  advantages 
than  Colorado  and  no  county  in  the  state  better 
than  those  afforded  in  Larimer  county.  Fort  Col- 
lins was  the  first  town  west  of  St.  Louis  to  intro- 
duce and  test  the  kindergarten  and  subsequently 
to  make  it  a  part  of  her  system  of  free  schools.  It 
was  introduced  in  1880  by  Judge  Jay  H.  Bouton, 
who  was  then  President  of  the  Board  of  Education, 
and  the  undertaking  was  attended  by  such  marked 
success  and  such  manifestly  beneficent  results  that 
the  legislature  was  induced,   in    1893,   to  enact  a 


law  making  the  kindergarten  an  integral  part  of 
the  public  school  system  of  the  state.  Since  then 
the  kindergarten  has  been  introduced  in  nearly  all 
the  larger  centers  of  population  in  Colorado,  and  is 
steadily  working  its  way  into  popular  favor  in  all 
parts  of  the  state.  With  a  kindergarten  training  at 
the  beginning  of  a  child's  school  life  and  ending 
with  a  High  school  course,  with  a  perfect  system 
of  grading  intervening  and  the  honest,  conscientious 
work  of  a  competent  and  enthusiastic  corps  of  teach- 
ers, such  and  only  such  as  the  school  authorities  of 
the  county  employ,  it  is  not  surprising  that  the  pub- 
lic schools  of  Larimer  county  rank  second  to  none 
in  the  whole  country.  Four  years  before  a  single 
school  district  had  been  organized  and  established 
and  before  a  public  school  had  been  opened  in  Lari- 
mer county,  Mrs.  Albina  L.  Washburn,  wife  of 
the  late  Judge  John  E.  Washburn  and  mother  of 
Mrs.  W.  W.  Taylor  of  Fort  Collins,  taught  a  small 
private  school  in  a  log  cabin  that  stood  on  the  site 
of  the  present  city  of  Loveland.  This  was  in  1864, 
and  Mrs.  Washburn  received  the  munificent  sum 
of  $10  per  month  for  her  services.  She  had  ten 
pupils  and  their  names  were:  Theodore  A.  Chub- 
buck,  Clarence  L.  Chubbuck,  Frank  G.  Bartholf, 
Kitty  Bartholf,  Byron  Bartholf,  John  Bartholf, 
Willie  Bartholf,  George  Luce,  Lawrence  Luce  and 
Winona  Washburn,  daughter  of  the  teacher.  The 
school  was  opened  about  the  first  of  January  and 
was  in  session  three  months.  I  am  unable  to  learn 
whether  a  school  was  taught  in  the  Big  Thompson 
valley  between  that  time  and  the  date  of  the  open- 
ing of  the  first  public  school  at  what  was  then 
known  as  Namaqua,  in  1868.  That  year  public 
schools  were  also  opened  at  Old  St.  Louis,  about 
a  mile  and  a  half  east  of  the  present  city  of  Love- 
land, and  at  Hillsborough,  six  miles  east  of  that 
city.  The  schools  at  Namaqua,  Old  St.  Louis  and 
Hillsborough  were  all  in  the  Big  Thompson  valley. 
A  school  was  organized  at  Laporte  in  1865  and  a 
school  taught  there  that  year,  but  the  public  records 
contains  no  mention  of  the  district,  the  teacher  or 
the  pupils. 

School  District  No.  5,  known  as  Fort  Collins, 
was  not  legally  organized  and  established  until  1870. 
There  is  no  record  in  existence  showing  who  the 
officers  were  at  this  time,  but  tradition  informs  us 
that  Peter  Anderson  was  the  first  President  of  the 
Board  of  Directors.  There  must  have  been  some 
sort  of  an  organization  previous  to  1870,  for  Mrs. 
Elizabeth  Keays  taught  a  school  here  in  the  winter 
of  1866,  and  the  officers  of  the  district  then,  as  fhe 
remembers,    were    N.    P.    Cooper,    president;    W. 

[129] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


D.  Hayes,  secretary,  and  Capt.  Asaph  Allen,  treas- 
urer. The  summer  before  that  Mrs.  Stratton 
taught  a  private  school  in  her  room  in  the  hotel 
kept  by  "Auntie  Stone."  This  hotel  stood  where 
the  City  Hotel  now  stands  on  Jefferson  street.  She 
opened  this  school  for  the  benefit  of  her  young 
son,  William  P.  Keays,  but  she  had  not  been  teach- 
ing him  long  until  other  children  asked  to  come  in 
and  study  with  him.  In  the  fall  of  1866  a  room 
was  fitted  up  in  one  of  the  buildings  that  had  been 
occupied  a  few  months  before  as  officers'  quarters 
when  the  soldiers  were  here,  and  Mrs.  Stratton  was 
employed  to  teach  a  six  months'  term — the  first  reg- 
ular term  of  a  public  school  taught  in  Fort  Collins. 
Among  her  pupils  were  Kate  Smith,  William  P. 
Keays,  John  O'Brien,  two  of  Michael  (Ranger) 
Jones'  children,  two  of  Mr.  Cooper's  children  and 
three  or  four  of  Austin  Mason's  children.  Miss 
Geneva  Cooper,  sister  of  Mrs.  A.  J.  Ames,  who 
afterwards  became  Mrs.  W.  D.  Hays,  succeeded 
Mrs.  Stratton  as  teacher  the  next  term,  Mrs.  Strat- 
ton having  married  Mr.  Stratton  in  the  meantime. 

Mrs.  Stratton  relates  many  amusing  incidents 
that  occurred  while  she  was  employed  as  teacher. 
On  one  occasion  she  happened  to  look  up  from  her 
work  and  discovered  Chief  Friday  of  the  Arapahoes 
and  some  of  his  Indians  peering  into  the  one  window 
of  her  room.  The  children  were  considerably  fright- 
ened at  the  sight  of  the  visitors  and  she  admits 
that  she  was  herself  a  little  nervous  at  their  sudden 
appearance.  The  Indians  seemed  to  be  greatly 
amused  at  the  spectacle  of  a  woman  teaching  so 
many  children,  and  when  their  curiosity  had  been 
satisfied  they  departed  without  molesting  anyone 
or  anything. 

After  the  district  had  been  legally  organized  in 
1870,  a  small  frame  school  house  was  erected  on 
Riverside  avenue,  between  what  are  now  known 
as  Peterson  and  Whedbee  streets,  at  a  cost  of 
$1,100.  Henry  C.  Peterson  was  the  contractor 
and  builder.  This  building  was  used  for  school 
purposes  until  the  winter  of  1879,  when  the  school 
was  moved  into  the  Remington  school  building, 
which  had  just  been  completed.  The  old  school 
house  was  then  sold  to  the  Catholic  Church  and 
used  by  that  congregation  until  the  new  Catholic 
Church  was  built  in  1901  on  West  Mountain  ave- 
nue. Miss  Maggie  Meldrum,  sister  of  former 
Lieut.  Governor  Norman  H.  Meldrum,  taught  the 
first  term  of  school  in  the  old  (then  new)  school 
house"  in  1871.  She  was  succeeded  in  1872  by  Miss 
Alice   M.  Watrous,   now   Mrs.   A.   H.   Patterson. 

[130] 


Judge  J.  W.  Barnes,  now  of  Golden,  Colo.,  taught 
in  the  old  building  in  1876-7-8. 

On  the  first  Monday  in  September,  1879,  schools 
were  opened  in  all  of  the  rooms  of  the  fully  com- 
pleted Remington  building.  One  of  the  rooms  that 
had  been  hurriedly  finished  was,  however,  occupied 
as  a  school  room  in  the  winter  of  1878-9.  The 
teachers  employed  to  open  the  schools  in  the  new 
building  were:  Prof.  John  Lord,  principal;  Eu- 
gene Holmes,  first  assistant,  and  Miss  Frances 
Whitaker,  second  assistant. 

From  the  indefinite,  incomplete  and  unsatisfac- 
tory records  of  the  county  superintendent's  office, 
it  is  impossible  to  give  in  detail  the. rise  and  progress 
down  to  1874,  of  the  public  schools  of  Larimer 
county.  Important  dates  regarding  the  formation 
of  school  districts,  the  terms  of  school,  names  of 
the  teachers,  number  of  pupils,  wages  paid  teachers 
and  reports  of  school  officers,  as  well  as  much  other 
information  that  would  be  valuable  at  this  time 
in  compiling  an  accurate  history  of  the  grandest 
institution  of  the  county,  were  omitted  in  the 
early  day  records.  No  system  seems  to  have  been 
employed  in  making  and  preserving  these  important 
records,  as  they  are  neither  logically  nor  chronolog- 
ically arranged  and  were  apparently  kept  in  a  sort 
of  a  hap-hazard  manner.  Beginning  with  1874,  the 
records  were  better  made  up,  some  system  being  fol- 
lowed, so  that  it  is  possible  to  obtain  from  them  a 
fairly  good  idea  of  the  history  of  the  public  school 
system  from  that  date  down  to  the  present  time. 
Because  of  these  defective  pioneer  records  I  am  un- 
able to  trace  the  history  of  each  school  district  in 
the  county  from  the  beginning  with  any  satisfac- 
tory degree  of  accuracy  and  must,  therefore,  omit 
interesting  details  and  be  content  with  a  general 
summary  of  the  results. 

From  the  records  it  appears  that  six  school  dis- 
tricts were  created  and  established  in  1868,  when 
J.  M.  Smith  was  county  superintendent,  and  these 
were  No.  1,  Namaqua;  No.  2,  St.  Louis  (now  Love- 
land)  ;  No.  3,  Hillsborough;  No.  4,  Laporte;  No. 
5,  Fort  Collins,  and  No.  6,  Sherwood  (now  Tim- 
nath.)  In  October  of  that  year  four  of  these  dis- 
tricts, Nos.  2,  4,  5  and  6,  submitted  partial  reports 
to  the  county  superintendent.  These  reports  con- 
tain nothing  more  than  a  statement  showing  the 
number  of  children  of  school  age  in  each  at  that 
time,  as  follows: 

No.  2,  W.  B.  Osborn,  secretary 24 

No.  4,  E.  N.  Garbutt,  secretary 35 

No.  5,  W.  D.  Hayes,  secretary 19 

No.  6   (secretary  not  named) -17 

Total 95 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


That  year  it  appears  that  the  sum  of  $1,200 
public  money  was  apportioned  to  the  districts  then 
organized.  In  1869  seven  districts  made  partial 
reports,  from  which  it  appears  that  the  school  popu- 
lation of  the  county  had  increased  from  95  to  159, 
no  division  as  to  sex  being  given.  .  The  number  re- 
ported from  each  of  the  districts  was  as  follows: 

No.  1,  Lucas  Brandt,  secretary 16 

No.  2,  W.  B.  Osborn,  secretary 24 

No.  3   (secretary  not  named) 8 

No.  4  (secretary  not  named) 40 

No.  5   (secretary  not  named) 35 

No.  6  (secretary  not  named) 17 

No.  7  (secretary  not  named) 19 

Total 159 

At  that  time  all  children  between  the  ages  of  5 
and  21  were  supposed  to  be  reported.  It  does  not 
appear  that  any  public  money  was  apportioned  to 
the  several  districts  that  year,  but  the  records  show 
that  in  1870  the  county  superintendent  apportioned 
to  the  districts  the  following  sums : 

No.  1,  Ed.  Clark,  treasurer $208.50 

No.  2,  Thomas  Cross,  treasurer 408.60 

No.  3   (treasurer  not  named) 102.00 

No.  4  (treasurer  not  named) 535.00 

No.  5,  Harris  Stratton,  treasurer 430.00 

No.  6,  J.  B.  Arthur,  treasurer 218.50 

No.  7,  Fred  Smith,  treasurer 244.00 

In  October,  1870,  the  school  population  of  the 
county  had  increased  to  203,  the  number  reported 
from  each  district  being  as  follows: 

No.  1,  Lucas  Brandt,  secretary 18 

No.  2,  Thos.  Sprague,  secretary 20 

No.  3,  W.  A.  Bean,  secretary 18 

No.  4,  E.  N.  Garbutt,  secretary 43 

No.  5,  C.  C.  Hawley,  secretary 51 

No.  6   (secretary  not  named) 21 

No.  7,  P.  J.  Bosworth,  secretary 22 

No.  8,  J.  R.  Oliver,  secretary 14 

Total 203 

Pages  15  and  16  of  the  county  superintendent's 
records  are  missing,  causing  a  break  in  the  contin- 
uity, so  that  details  of  the  growth  and  expansion 
of  the  county  school  system  from  1870,  year  by 
year,  cannot  be  given.  Suffice  it  to  say  that  succeed- 
ing pages  show  that  a  steady  growth  in  school  popu- 
lation and  greater  interest  in  popular  education 
year  by  year,  the  greatest  expansion  taking  place 
in  the  decade  ending  June  30th,  1909.  In  the  an- 
nual report  of  Miss  Pearl  L.  Moore,  county  super- 
intendent, dated  September  20th,  1909,  we  find  the 
following  interesting  statistics  relating  to  school 
matters : 

Statistics 

Number  of  school  districts  in  the  County 53 

Number  of  districts  in  which  schools  were 
taught  during  the  year  ending  June  30th, 
1909     .• 53 


Number  of  high  schools ^ 

Number  enrolled  in  high  schools 540 

Number  enrolled  in  graded  schools  below  high 

school    • . .  •  5,223 

Number    enrolled    in    rural    schools 1,391—7,154 

Number  completing  eighth   grade   work 232 

Number  of  teachers  employed  in  graded  schools  125 

Number   employed   in   rural   schools 48 

Average   monthly   salary — Grade  teachers,   male,   $101 ; 
female,  $59. 

Average   monthly  salary — Rural   schools,   male,   $55.50; 
female,  $47. 

Total   receipts,   general   fund .$  49,387.00 

Total  receipts,  special  tax. 123,835.19 

Total  receipts  from  all  other  sources 14,914.79 

Total '. . . .  .$212,978.07 

Paid  out  for  teachers'  salaries $  87,132.14 

Paid   out  for  fuel,   rent,   insurance   and   current 

expenses,    buildings 37,993.54 

Paid    out   for    sites,    furniture    and    permanent 

improvements    36,580.00 

Paid  out  for   library  purposes 1,037.47 

Paid  out  for  redemption  of  bonds 5,787.70 

Paid  out  for  interest  on  bonds 7,513.36 

Paid  out  for  other  purposes 2,921.93 

Paid  out  for  interest  on   registered   warrants..  3,419.73 

Total $182,385.95 

Balance  on   hand 30,592.12 

School  Population  Between  6  and 
21  Years 

Males  4,094 

Females    4,924 

Total. 8,018 

Number    of    school    houses 72 

Number  of  school  rooms 166 

Value  of  school  property $585,758 

Number  of  sittings 12,120 

Assessed  valuation  of  all   property  in  school 

districts $9,026,297.00 

Number   of   district   libraries 32 

Number  of  volumes  in  libraries 7,053 

The  first  teachers'  institute  held  in  the  county 
convened  August  20th,  1883,  for  a  two  weeks'  ses- 
sion in  the  Remington  school  building  in  the  city 
of  Fort  Collins.  W.  H.  McCreery,  County  Super- 
intendent, was  chosen  president;  W.  W.  Reming- 
ton, treasurer,  and  Miss  Emma  B.  Mitchell,  sec- 
retary. The  teachers  in  attendance  were:  Eliza 
Ames,  Julia  S.  Batten,  Laura  Budrow,  Ella  Bowler, 
M.  A.  Brown,  Gertrude  Coffin,  Agnes  Cummings, 
Mr.  A.  J.  Cushman,  Mrs.  Nettie  M.  Delaney, 
Mary  W.  Duncan,  Addie  L.  Foote,  Carrie  E. 
Foote,  Louise  Gilbertson,  Maggie  Goddard,  Mary 
E.  Gill,  Lizzie  A.  Gray,  Alice  Haines,  John  C. 
Hanna,  Eugene  Holmes,  Clara  Jones,  Mrs.  E.  K. 
Kendall,  Attie  Kern,  Amanda  Lowe,  Mary  E. 
Lyon,  Jennie  McLain,  Alice  Mitchell,  Emma 
Murch,    Emma    Reaville,    Mattie    Reaville,    Mrs. 

[131] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER 


COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


Smith,  Hattie  Silcott,  Mattie  A.  Simpson,  Citney 
Watts,  Helen  White,  Mr.  V.  Williamson.  The 
workers  of  the  institute  were  Dr.  J.  A.  Sewall, 
President  of  the  State  University;  Prof.  Thomas, 
State  University;  President  C.  L.  IngersoU  and 
Profs.  Mead,  Cassidy  and  Lawrence  of  the  Agri- 
cultural College;  Prof.  A.  B.  Copeland  of  Greeley; 
Prof.  Remington,  Mrs.  Delaney  and  County  Super- 
intendent McCreery  of  Fort  Collins. 

The  teachers  of  the  county  are  organized  and 
hold  two  association  meetings  annually,  alternating 
the  gathering  place  with  Fort  Collins,  Loveland 
and  Berthoud.  In  addition  to  these  meetings,  a 
two-weeks'  Teachers'  Normal  Institute  is  held  in 
the  county  every  third  year,  alternating  with  the  ad- 
joining Counties  of  Boulder  and  Weld,  which 
are  districted  with  Larimer  for  Institute  purposes. 
From  the  facts  herein  presented  it  will  be  seen  that 
Larimer  county  is  keeping  step  with  the  march  of 
progress  in  educational  matters  as  well  as  in  other 
respects.  Indeed,  its  public  schools  are  the  pride 
of  every  intelligent  and  well  informed  person  in 
the  county. 

Ditches  and  Reservoirs 

The  farming  lands  in  the  Big  and  Little  Thomp- 
son valleys  are  irrigated  by  water  drawn  from  the 
Big  Thompson  river  and  Little  Thompson  creek 
and  their  tributaries,  and  the  district  is  known  as 
Water  Commissioner  District  No.  4.  To  How- 
ard Kelley,  Water  Commissioner  for  that  district, 
I  am  indebted  for  the  information  herein  contained 
concerning  the  irrigating  ditches  which  draw  their 
water  supply  from  the  streams  named: 

Handy:  Length,  20  miles;  capacity,  200  cubic 
feet;  date  of  appropriation,  February  28th,  1878. 

Home  Supply:  Length,  25  miles;  capacity,  250 
cubic  feet;  date  of  appropriation,  July  15th,  1881. 

South  Side:  Length,  10  miles;  capacity,  50 
cubic  feet;  date  of  appropriation,  November  7th, 
1880. 

Louden:  Length,  20  miles;  capacity,  200  cubic 
feet;  date  of  appropriation,  October  1st,  1871. 

Rist:  Length,  6  miles;  capacity,  200  cubic  feet; 
date  of  appropriation.  May  1st,  1873. 

Mariana:  Length,  1-J  miles;  capacity,  5  cubic 
feet;  date  of  appropriation.  May  1st,  1863. 

Rist  &  Goss:  Length,  2  miles;  capacity,  5  cubic 
feet;  date  of  appropriation,  March  20th,  .1866. 

Greeley  &  Loveland:  Length,  25  miles;  capac- 
ity, 300  cubic  feet;  date  of  appropriation,  October 
20th,    1865. 

[132] 


Barnes:  Length,  5  miles;  capacity,  800  cubic 
feet;  date  of  appropriation,  November  1st,  1865. 

Big  Thompson  Manufacturing  Co.:  Length,  5 
miles;  capacity,  40  cubic  feet;  date  of  appropriation, 
April  1st,  1863. 

Hillsboro:  Length,  18  miles;  capacity,  75  cubic 
feet;  date  of  appropriation,  October  15th,  1874. 

Big  Thompson  No.  1 :  Length,  8  miles ;  capac- 
ity, 90  cubic  feet;  date  of  appropriation,  November 
10th,  1861. 

Little  Thompson  Ditches 

Osborn  &  Caywood :  Length,  4  miles ;  Capac- 
ity, 4  cubic  feet;  date  of  appropriation,  November 
1st,  1861. 

W.  R.  Blore:  Length,  5  miles;  capacity,  6 
cubic  feet;  date  of  appropriation.  May  1,  1866. 

Culver  &  Mahoney:  Length,  8  miles;  capacity, 
20  cubic  feet;  date  of  appropriation,  April  15th, 
1867. 

Lykens:  Length,  2  miles;  capacity,  2  cubic  feet; 
date  of  appropriation.  May  1st,  1868. 

Jim  Eaglin:  Length,  2  miles;  capacity,  2  cubic 
feet;  date  of  appropriation.  May  1st,  1869. 

Meining:  Length,  2  miles;  capacity,  2  cubic 
feet;  date  of  appropriation,  October  20th,  1874. 

Boulder  &  Larimer  Co. :  Length,  6  miles ;  capac- 
ity, 100  cubic  feet;  date  of  appropriation,  June  3rd, 
1875. 

Eagle:  Length,  2  miles;  capacity,  6  cubic  feet; 
date  of  appropriation,  March,  1877. 

Supply  Lateral:  Length,  4  miles;  capacity,  25 
cubic  feet;  date  of  appropriation,  November,  1878. 

Buckhorn  Ditches 

Kirchner:  Length,  3  miles;  capacity,  6  cubic 
feet;  date  of  appropriation,  June  1st,  1884. 

Perkins :  Length,  2  miles ;  capacity,  2  cubic  feet ; 
date  of  appropriation,  June  15th,  1874. 

Neville:  Length,  2  miles;  capacity,  3  cubic  feet; 
date  of  appropriation,  April  29th,  1879. 

Buffum:  Length,  2^  miles;  capacity,  3  cubic 
feet;  date  of  appropriation,  June  28th,  1879. 

Thompson:  Length,  2J  miles;  capacity,  3  cubic 
feet;  date  of  appropriation.  May  1st,  1886. 

Union  Irrigation  &  Reservoir:  Length,  3  miles; 
capacity,  5  cubic  feet;  date  of  appropriation,  No- 
vember 27th,  1889. 

Hyatt:  Length,  2  miles;  capacity  2^  cubic  feet; 
date  of  appropriation,  October  1st,  1887. 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


Buckhorn  Highline:  Length,  4  miles;  capacity, 
5  cubic  feet;  date  of  appropriation,  October  22nd, 
1883. 

Reservoirs  in  the  Big  and  Little 
Thompson  Valleys 

Name  Capacity,  Cubic  Feet 

Lone    Tree    400,000,000 

Donath    30,000,000 

Mariana     200,000,000 

Lake  Loveland    625,000,000 

Lawn  Lake    38,000,000 

Seven    Lakes 12,000,000 

Ryan  Gulch  No.   1 40,000,000 

Ryan  Gulch  No.  2 42,000,000 

Fairport    24,164,910 

Rist   &   Benson 24,040,600 

Boyd    Lake 1,872,000,000 

Buckhorn    60,000,000 

Berthoud    Water    Works 7,805,614 

Loveland   Lake 93,521,818 

Welch  Lakes  300,000,000 

Boulder  &  Larimer 204,483,708 

W.   T.   Smith 6,924,142 

Wilson    6,982,668 

Cemetery  Lake   24,000,000 

Welch  Lakes,  1,  2  and  5 117,106,087 

Hupp     3,624,238 

Sunny   Slope    11,287,683 

Strever    10,271,444 

Hummel   12,732,269 

Coleman    22,166,980 

Kline     960,760 

Foster  &  Matz 3,299,970 

Loveland    Lateral    Lake 24,437,546 

Total  Cubic  Feet 4,236,810,437 

Reservoirs  in  the  Cache  la  Poudre 
and  Boxelder  Valleys 

Warren    Lake     126,000,000 

North    Gray 12,000,000 

South    Gray    22,300,000 

Lake  Canal  No.  1 35,000,000 

Water  Supply  &  Storage  Co.,  No.  1 206,000,000 

Water  Supply  &  Storage  Co.,  Nos.  2  and  3..  30,000,000 

Water  Supply  &  Storage  Co.,  No.  4 43,400,000 

Water  Supply  &  Storage  Co.,  Long  Pond 176,000,000 

Water  Supply  &  Storage  Co.,  Lindenmeier 40,000,000 

Water  Supply  &  Storage  Co.,  Richards 46,000,000 

Water  Supply  &  Storage  Co.,   Curtis 34,000,000 

Water  Supply  &  Storage  Co.,  Chambers 200,000,000 

Spring    Canon 2,700,000 

North   Poudre   No.      1 29,300,000 

North   Poudre   No.     2 169,000,000 

North   Poudre   No.     3 125,000,000 

North    Poudre    No.      4 46,000,000 

North   Poudre   No.      5 250,000,000 

North   Poudre   No.     6 445,000,000 

North   Poudre   No.    15 240,000,000 

North   Poudre,    Stuchell 5,000,000 

North  Poudre,   Coal  Creek 178,400,000 

North   Poudre,    Fossil    Creek 525,000,000 

North   Poudre,    Halligan 280,000,000 

Claymore  Lake  40,000,000 

Boxelder  Ditch  &  Reservoir  Co.,  No.  1 25,000,000 


Boxelder  Ditch  &  Reservoir  Co.,  No.  2 8,500,000 

Boxelder  Ditch  &  Reservoir  Co.,  No.  3 34,500,000 

Boxelder  Ditch  &  Reservoir  Co.,  No.  4 11,000,000 

Jameson  Lake   3,500,000 

Caverly    7,500,000 

Dixon   Canon    19,500,000 

Mitchell  Lakes,   No.   1 25,300,000 

Mitchell  Lakes,   No.  2 4,400,000 

Mitchell   Lakes   No.    3 4,300,000 

Dovrdy    15,000,000 

Deer  Lake   4,000,000 

Erie   Lake    3,000,000 

Twin   Lakes    2,000,000 

Larimer    &    Weld 390,000,000 

Cache   la   Poudre 415,000,000 

Neece     6,000,000 

Douglass     285,400,000 

Agricultural  Reservoir  No.  3 31,000,000 

Big  Beaver   (Hour  Glass) 69,200,000 

B.   G.  Eaton,  No.   8 670,000,000 

Elder    100,000,000 

Cameron    Pass    34,000,000 

Sheep    Creek    30,000,000 

Lake    Agnes    10,000,000 

Divide  Canal  Co 100.000,000 

Timberline     33,000,000 

Total   Cubic  Feet 5,822,600,000 

For  the  data  relating  to  the  reservoirs  in  the 
Cache  la  Poudre  valley  and  in  the  mountains  west 
of  Fort  Collins,  I  am  indebted  to  John  L.  Arm- 
strong, Water  Commissioner  for  the  3rd  district, 
which  embraces  all  the  irrigating  systems  that  draw 
their  water  supply  from  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river 
and  its  tributaries.  The  combined  storage  capacity 
of  the  reservoirs  and  storage  basins  of  Larimer 
county,  equals  10,059,410,437  cubic  feet  of  water. 


DAM   OF  HALLIGAN    RESERVOIR 

This  water  is  drawn  from  the  streams  in  the  winter 
when  it  is  not  needed  for  direct  irrigation,  and  also 
during  the  flood  periods  in  the  spring  and  early 
summer,  and  held  in  store  for  use  in  irrigating  the 
orchards,  alfalfa  fields  and  late  crops,  such  as 
potatoes  and  sugar  beets,  which  mature  in  September 
and  October.  The  reservoirs  in  the  county,  when 
filled  to  their  capacity,  hold  water  enough  to  cover 
230,912  acres  of  land  to  a  depth  of  one  foot,  and 
the  water  is   used   to   supplement  the   supply   fur- 

[133] 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER        COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


nished  by  the  streams  directly,  thus  increasing  the 
area  of  land  cultivated  to  crops.  A  very  large  per- 
centage of  the  water  stored  in  the  reservoirs  of 
Larimer  county  is  turned  into  the  channel  of  the 
river  and  allowed  to  flow  down  into  Weld  county 
for  use  in  irrigating  the  farms  of  that  county. 

Warren  Lake  reservoir  was  the  first  one  built  in 
the  county  and   the  first  in  the  Northern  part  of 


during  a  portion  of  the  irrigation  season,  was  real- 
ized and  felt,  hence  a  resort  to  the  system  of  storing 
the  flood  waters  which  flowed  down  stream  every 
spring  to  the  amount  of  billions  of  cubic  feet  and 
were  lost  to  a  beneficial  use.  Every  lake  and  im- 
portant depression  in  the  surface  were  utilized  and 
converted  into  reservoirs  for  the  conservation  of 
water,  with  the  result  that  Larimer  county  has  the 


BIG    THOMPSON   DAM— HEAD    OF   LOVELAND'S    WATER   WORKS    SYSTEM 


the  state,  and  has  paid  for  itself  a  hundred  times 
over.  It  has  been  the  means  of  saving  millions  of 
dollars'  worth  of  crops  from  burning  and  bringing 
them  through  to  maturity  which  could  not  have 
been  saved  had  it  not  been  for  the  water  held  back 
for  use  in  time  of  need.  As  the  farming  sections 
of  the  county  filled  up  with  settlers,  the  need  of 
more  water  for  irrigation  than  the  streams  afforded 


largest  and  best  storage  system  there  is  in  the  state, 
The  estimated  value  of  stored  water  is  $50  per 
million  cubic  feet.  In  actual  practice  it  sometimes 
ranges  higher  than  that,  even  to  $75  and  $100  per 
million  cubic  feet.  It  will  thus  be  seen  that  the 
value  of  the  water  that  could  be  stored  in  the  reser- 
voirs of  the  county  in  one  season,  exceeds  half  a 
million  dollars. 


[134] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


The  canals  and  ditches  in  the  Cache  la  Poudre 
valley  and  their  water  appropriations  and  ratings 
are  given  elsewhere  in  this  book. 

Introduction  of  Wool  Growing  and 
Sheep  Feeding 

The  sheep  and  wool  growing  industry  was  intro- 
duced in  Larimer  county  about  1870,  there  being 
three  bands  of  sheep  owned,  one  by  Mr.  Weldon  of 
the  Big  Thompson  valley,  another  by  J.  S.  May- 
nard  of  Maynard  Flats,  and  the  third  by  E.  W. 
Whitcomb  on  Boxelder  creek.  In  1871  William 
N.  Bachelder  settled  at 
Spring  Canon  with  a  bunch 
of  sheep  and  he  did  so  well 
with  them  that  others  en- 
gaged in  the  business  until, 
in  1878,  there  were  about 
75,000  range  sheep  in  the 
county.  As  the  county  be- 
came settled  up  and  the 
range  narrowed  down,  the 
sheep  men  had  to  move  their 
flocks  out  of  the  county  to 
where  they  could  have  wider 
and  unobstructed  ranges  or 
retire  from  the  business. 
Many  of  them  preferred  the 
latter,  having  accumulated  a 
competence  at  the  business, 
so  that  at  the  present  time 
there  are  only  one  or  two 
bands  of  range  sheep  in  the 
county.  At  first  the  cattle- 
men were  bitterly  opposed  to  the  placing  of  sheep  on 
the  range,  and  did  all  in  their  power  to  discourage 
the  sheep  men  and  prevent  them  from  locating  in 
the  county.  The  opposition  was  fierce  at  times  and 
personal  conflicts  between  the  cattle  men  and  sheep 
men  were  not  rare.  They  even  carried  opposition 
to  the  introduction  of  sheep  into  politics  and  in  the 
early  days  a  sheep  man  could  not  be  elected  to  office 
on  any  ticket. 

The  following  extracts  from  a  letter  written  to 
me  by  the  late  William  N.  Bachelder  who,  in  1900, 
was  living  at  Gebo,  Montana,  and  who  was  one  of 
the  pioneer  sheep  men  of  the  county,  will  give  one 
an  insight  into  conditions  as  they  existed  here  when 
he  engaged  in  the  wool  growing  industry.  He  says : 
"I  just  noticed  in  the  Rocky  Mountain  News  an 
article  on  the  lamb  feeding  industry  in  Larimer 
county   which   was   suggested    by   an   article   taken 


from  the  Fort  Collins  Courier  describing  the  re- 
sult of  the  introduction  of  the  industry  in  that 
county.  It  brought  fresh  to  my  mind  many  scenes 
and  incidents  of  the  sheep  business  in  Larimer 
county  in  the  early  days. 

"In  the  fall  of  1871  I  left  my  native  state,  Ver- 
mont, and  came  to  Colorado  to  engage  in  wool 
growing.  Larimer  county  was  the  first  place  I 
struck  and  when  I  settled  I  asked  my  host,  Harry 
Conley,  who  then  kept  the  hotel  afterwards  known 
as  the  Blake  House,  if  he  could  show  me  a  sheep 
ranch.  'What  do  you  want  he  replied?'  I  said 
plenty  of  grass  and  water.     He  then  pointed  Spring 


RANGE   SHEEP  AT  PASTURE 

Canon  out  to  me.  I  drove  out  to  Spring  Canon 
that  evening  and  laid  the  foundation  for  a  house 
and  sheep  ranch.  There  were  two  bunches  of  sheep 
in  the  county  at  that  time,  one  owned  by  Thomas 
Weldon  on  the  Big  Thompson,  and  one  owned  by 
E.  W.  Whitcomb  on  the  Boxelder.  I  sold  my 
brook  washed  wool  the  following  spring  for  60 
cents  a  pound,  and  my  unwashed  wool  for  40  cents 
a  pound. 

"I  soon  found  out  that  a  sheep  man  was  hated 
above  all  other  men  because  his  sheep  bit  off  the 
grass  too  short  to  suit  his  neighbors.  Being  young 
and  ambitious  at  that  time  I  accepted  the  nomination 
as  a  delegate  to  the  Constitutional  Convention; 
those  awful,  ugly  sheep  defeated  me  at  the  election. 
A  few  years  later  I  had  associated  with  me  in  the 
wool  growing  business  the  Bristol  brothers  of 
Vergennes,  Vermont,   and   Henry  Dewey,  of  Ben- 


[135] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


nington,  Vermont,  who  was  a  brother  of  Rear 
Admiral  George  P.  Dewey,  the  hero  of  Manila 
Bay.  Henry  came  there  for  lung  trouble,  but  like  a 
good  many  others  he  came  too  late.  Many  Fort 
Collins  people  will  remember  him  and  his  estimable 
wife.  We  sent  him  back  to  Vermont,  where  he  died 
soon  afterward. 

"I  used  to  try  persuade  my  neighbors  in  Larimer 
county  that  the  sheep  business  was  the  best  to  en- 
gage in,  but  one  of  them  had  the  cheek  to  tell  me 
that  he  should  have  voted  for  me  if  I  had  not  been 
a  sheep  man.  I  have  been  vindicated  at  last.  I  have 
lived  to  see  one  half  of  the  business  people  of  Fort 
Collins  engaged  in  the  sheep  business  and  to  see  that 
industry  bring  them  in  a  $1,000,000  a  year." 

For  many  years  after  agriculture  had  taken  root 
in  Larimer  county,  the  farmers  devoted  all  of  their 
energies  to  raising  wheat,  with  here  and  there  a 
field  of  oats  or  barley  and  until  the  introduction  of 
alfalfa  in  1877,  the  small  grains  were  about  all  the 
crops  raised.  From  1865  down  to  1876  wheat 
commanded  good  prices,  as  the  supply  was  insuf- 
ficient to  meet  the  demand  for  bread,  and  farmers 
realized  handsome  profits  from  their  crops.  That 
year,  owing  to  the  importations  from  Kansas  and 
Utah,  the  price  of  wheat  began  to  fall  off,  selling 
in  the  early  SO's  as  low  at  times  as  60  cents  per 
hundred  pounds,  and  to  make  matters  still  worse 
the  yield  per  acre  began  to  dwindle,  due  to  con- 
tinued cropping  of  the  same  ground  and  consequent 
exhaustion  of  the  soil.  At  these  prices  the  farmers 
were  unable  to  make  ends  meet  as  the  cost  of 
producing  wheat  in  the  arid  region  under  irrigation 
Is  greater  per  acre  than  in  sections  of  the  country 
where  the  rainfall  is  sufficient  to  mature  a  crop. 
Many  of  the  farmers  were  in  debt,  some  for  their 
land,  some  for  water  supply  and  others  for  teams 
and  farm  equipment;  so  that  the  outlook  down  to 
about  1890  was  decidedly  gloomy.  When  wheat 
growing  ceased  to  be  profitable  the  farmers  turned 
to  growing  more  alfalfa  and  soon  that  came  to  be 
a  drug  on  the  market.  Then  there  was  but  little 
stock  feeding  in  the  county  so  that  the  demand  for 
hay  was  light  and  alfalfa  would  not  bear  shipping. 
There  were  between  40,000  and  50,000  head  of 
cattle  in  the  county,  but  those  fit  for  beef  were 
shipped  out  in  the  fall  and  only  a  few  head,  com- 
paratively speaking,  were  fed  through  the  winter 
for  the  spring  market.  The  farmers  had  not  yet 
learned  that  they  could  ship  their  surplus  alfalfa  to 
market  on  foot  and  thousands  of  tons  of  fine  hay 
rotted  in  the  stacks.  The  raising  of  alfalfa  had  an 
efiEect,   however,   on   depleted   soils,   for  it   restored 

[136] 


them   to   fertility  so   that   wheat  sown   on   alfalfa 
ground  began  to  give  better  yields. 

The  year  1889  witnessed  the  dawning  of  a  new 
and  prosperous  era  among  the  farmers.  In  the  fall 
of  that  year  the  brothers,  E.  J.  and  I.  W.  Bennett, 
who  a  few  years  before  had  been  interested  in  the 
range  sheep  and  wool  growing  industry  and  also 
feeding  sheep  in  Nebraska  in  the  winter  time, 
bought  in  Southern  Colorado  about  2,500  high  grade 
Mexican  lambs  with  the  intention  of  shipping  them 
to  their  feeding  pens  in  Nebraska  and  fattening  them 
for  the  spring  markets.  They  were  caught  at 
Trinidad  in  a  severe  snow  storm  which  blocked  the 
railroad  so  that  no  trains  could  be  moved.  Here 
for  two  weeks  the  lambs  were  held  without  food 
except  such  as  was  afforded  by  a  few  pinon  trees 
cut  down  for  them  to  browse.  By  the  time  the  rail- 
road was  opened  for  traffic  the  Bennetts  had  lost  a 
number  of  lambs  from  starvation  and  exposure  and 
the  remainder  were  so  weak  that  they  feared  to 
ship  them  through  to  Nebraska.  As  a  last  resort 
the  owners  decided  to  ship  the  lambs  to  Fort  Collins 
where  alfalfa  could  be  obtained  at  a  reasonable 
price,  and  there  attempt  to  fatten  them  under 
what  they  considered  at  the  time  as  adverse  cir- 
cumstances. The  lambs  reached  Bennett  Brothers' 
ranch,  12  miles  east  of  Fort  Collins,  about  the 
middle  of  November  and  were  placed  upon  a  gener- 
ous ration  of  alfalfa.  They  recovered  rapidly  from 
the  effects  of  their  long  fast  and  rough  journey  and 
later  were  fed  corn  as  well  as  hay.  The  lambs 
were  shipped  to  Chicago  in  March  and  April,  1890, 
and  sold  at  prices  ranging  from  $5.05  to  $6.40  per 
hundred  pounds,  leaving  the  feeders  a  fine  profit. 

This  was  the  beginning  of  the  lamb  feeding  in- 
dustry In  Colorado,  an  industry  that  put  the  farmers 
on  their  feet  and  enabled  them  to  pay  off  their 
debts,  improve  their  farms  and  build  new  homes. 
For  the  purpose  of  showing  the  growth  of  the  in- 
dustry I  will  give  figures  showing  the  number  of 
lambs  fed  in  the  county,  year  by  year,  for  a  series 
of  years : 

In  the  winter  of  1889 2,500 

In  the  winter  of  1890 3,500 

In  the  winter  of  1891 6,000 

In  the  winter  of  1892 30,000 

In  the  winter  of  1893 40,000 

In  the  winter  of  1894 : 60,000 

In  the  winter  of  1895 80,000 

In  the  winter  of  1896 128,000 

In  the  winter  of  1897 193,000 

In  the  winter  of  1898 250,000 

In  the  winter  of  1899 300,000 

In  the  winter  of  1900 350,000 

In  the  winter  of  1901 400,000 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY,    COLORADO 


Since  1901  the  number  of  sheep  and  lambs  fed 
each  winter  in  the  county  has  ranged  from  250,000 
to  400,000  until  this  year  (1910).  Owing  to  the 
lack  of  an  adequate  water  supply  and  the  ravages 
of  grasshoppers  the  alfalfa  crop  was  light  and  many 
feeders  were  compelled,  for  the  want  of  sufficient 
hay,  to  cut  down  their  purchases  of  lambs  for  winter 
feeding  and  others  to  temporarily  drop  out  of  the 
business  entirely  for  the  same  reason.  It  is  esti- 
mated that  the  feeding  pens  of  the  county  will  not 
contain  more  than  75,000  sheep  and  lambs  this 
year. 

From  Larimer  county  ,the  industry  spread  to 
other  agricultural  counties  of  the  state  so  that  in 
ordinary  seasons  Colorado  turns  off  about  a  million 
and  a  half  of  fat  lambs  every  spring.  At 
first  the  lambs  cost  the  feeders  from 
$1.25  to  $1.50  each  and  their  winter's 
operations  brought  them  a  good  snug 
profit.  Late  years,  however,  the  range 
flock  masters  have  increased  the  price  so 
that  now  a  60-pound  lamb  costs  from 
$3.50  to  $4.00,  thus  reducing  the  feed- 
ers' profits.  The  industry  has  proved  a 
blessing  to  Larimer  county  in  many 
ways.  It  has  enriched  the  farms  and 
brought  them  up  to  a  high  state  of  fer- 
tility through  the  distribution  and  plow- 
ing under  of  the  manure.  It  has  paid 
the  interest  on  the  mortgage  and  saved 
the  home.  In  many  instances  it  has  paid 
the  mortgage.  It  has  enabled  many  a 
struggling  farmer  to  get  out  of  debt  and  to  bring 
into  his  home  some  of  the  comforts  of  life.  It  has 
enabled  many  a  farmers'  boy  or  girl  to  satisfy  an 
ambition  for  a  higher  education  than  he  or  she  could 
receive  at  the  public  schools. 

At  first  the  feeders  were  obliged  to  borrow  money 
at  the  banks  with  which  to  buy  their  lambs  and  corn, 
and  the  banks  were  very  accommodating  and  did 
their  share  toward  building  up  the  industry.  Now 
most  of  the  feeders  are  independent  of  the  banks 
and  some  of  them  are  prepared  to  assist  their  less 
fortunate  neighbors  by  loans  for  use  in  stocking 
their  feeding  pens  and  the  purchase  of  corn.  It  is  a 
significant  fact  that  the  banks  have  never  lost  a  dol- 
lar during  the  twenty  years  they  have  been  loaning 
money  to  sheep  feeders,  their  loans  always  being 
promptly  paid  when  the  lambs  were  sold.  Since  the 
winter  of  1890,  when  the  lamb  feeding  industry  had 
its  beginning,  more  than  4,000,000  sheep  and  lambs 
have  been  fattened  in  and  marketed  from  Larimer 
county. 


The  alfalfa  crop  has  also  prepared  the  way  for  the 
profitable  feeding  and  fattening  of  cattle  and  tens 
of  thousands  of  fat  steers  and  cows  are  now  shipped 
to  market  every  spring.  Twenty  years  ago  it  was 
a  rare  thing  to  see  a  car  load  of  fat  cattle  sent  away 
to  market  from  the  county.  To  Senator  W.  A. 
Drake  belongs  the  credit  of  having  received  the  high- 
est price  ever  paid  in  Chicago  for  Larimer  county 
fed  lambs,  which  was  in  the  spring  of  1910  when  he 
sold  a  shipment  at  the  rate  of  $10.25  per  hundred 
pounds.  Mr.  Drake  is  perhaps  the  most  successful 
stock  feeder  in  the  county,  his  feeding  pens  annually 
containing  from  30,000  to  40,000  lambs,  which  he 
feeds  out  during  the  winter  months  and  markets 
in  Chicago. 


BEGINNING    OF    COLORADO    AGRICULTURAL    COLLEGE 

Colorado  State  Agricultural  College 

The  origin  of  the  State  Agricultural  college  of 
Colorado,  like  that  of  its  sister  institutions  in  other 
states,  dates  back  to  an  act  of  Congress,  approved 
July  2nd,  1862.  Therein  it  is  proposed  to  endow 
in  the  several  states  and  territories,  by  grants  of 
public  lands,  "a  college  where  the  leading  object 
shall  be,  without  excluding  other  scientifie  and 
classical  studies,  and  including  military  tactics,  to 
teach  such  branches  of  learning  as  are  related  to 
Agriculture  and  the  Mechanics  Arts,  in  such  nian- 
ner  as  the  Legislatures  of  the  States  may  respectively 
prescribe,  in  order  to  prom.ote  the  liberal  and  prac- 
tical education  of  the  industrial  classes  in  the  several 
pursuits  and  professions  of  life." 

This  act  gave  the  Colorado  Agricultural  College 
an  endowment  of  90,000  acres  of  land.  From  the 
sale  and  rental  of  these  lands  the  college  is  receiv- 
ing a  steadily  increasing  income,  year  by  year. 


[137] 


HISTORY    OF    LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


The  Territorial  Legislature  took  advantage  of  the 
concession  and  accepted  the  grant  made  by  congress 
and  in  1870  passed  an  act  establishing  and  locating 
the  Agricultural  College  of  Colorado  at  Fort  Col- 
lins in  Larimer  county.  This  act  also  named  the 
first  board  of  trustees  as  follows :  James  M.  Smith, 
Timothy  M.  Smith,  John  S.  Wheeler,  Hugh 
Mason,  Jesse  M.  Sherwood,  B.  T.  Whedbee,  A.  K. 
Yount,  A.  F.  Howes,  H.  C.  Peterson,  Joseph 
Mason,  A.  H.  Patterson  and  John  C.  Matthews, 
nearly  all  of  them  at  that  time  residents  of  Lari- 
mer county,  whose  exertions  procured  the  passing  of 
the  act  by  the  Tdrritdrial  Legislature  locating  the 
proposed  institution  here,  conditional  upon  the 
donation  of  two  hundred  and  forty  acres  of  land. 
The  land,  a  fine  tract  well  suited  to  the  pur- 
pose, was  donated  by  Arthur  H.  Patterson,  80 
acres;  Robert  Dalzell,  30  acres;  Joseph  Mason, 
H.  C.  Peterson  and  John  C.  Matthews,  50 
acres;  The  Larimer  County  Improvement  com- 
pany, 80  acres,  making  in  all  240  acres.  The  deeds 
to  fhese^  lands. were  executed  in  January,  1871,  Dec- 
ember, 1872  and  in  January,  1873. 

The  Territorial  Legislature  of  1872,  amended  the 
act  paSsed  in- 1870  by  naming  a  new  board  of 
trustees,  to-vvit;  T.  M.  Smith,  H.  C.  Peterson,  J. 
M.  Sherwood,  B.  H.  Eaton,  A.  H.  DeFrance, 
Samuel  H.  Elbert,  J.  M.  Paul,  A.  F.  Howes,  Gran- 
ville Berkeley,  A;  K.  Yount,  G.  M.  Chilcott  and  B. 
Tr  Whedbee.  In  1874  the  Territorial  Legislature 
appropriated  $1,000  to  aid  in  erecting  buildings 
and  making  other  improvements  on  the  grounds. 
This  appropriation  was  made  contingent  upon  a  like 
sum  being  donated  by  citizens  of  the  county.  The 
donation  was  raised  in  Fort  Collins  and  this,  with 
the  legislative  appropriation,  enabled  the  trustees  to 
erect  a  small  brick  building  and  secure  certain  neces- 
sary water  rights  for  the  farm. 

The  Constitutional  Convention,  held  in  1876, 
permanently  located  the  college  at  Fort  Collins  by 
constitutional  provision  and,  by  an  act  of  the  first 
General  assembly  passed  in  1877,  an  entire  re- 
organization of  the  board  was  effected,  changing  the 
title  from  board  of  trustees  to  the  State  Board  of 
Agriculture  and  authorizing  the  levy  of  a  tax  of  one 
tenth  of  a  mill  on  the  taxable  property  of  the  state 
to  provide  a  fund  for  the  erection  of  a  suitable 
building.  The  act  gave  the  Governor  the  power, 
by  and  with  the  consent  of  the  senate,  to  appoint 
the  members  of  the  board.  Before  the  session  ad- 
journed. Governor  John  L.  Roiitt  sent  to  the  Senate 
the  names  of  N.  W.  Everett,  of  Jefferson  county; 
John    Armor,    of    Arapahoe    county;    B.     S.    La 

[138] 


Grange,  of  Weld  county;  P.  M.  Hinman,  of 
Boulder  county;  William  Bean,  John  J.  Ryan, 
Harris  Stratton  and  W.  F.  Watrous  of  Larimer 
county  which  the  senate  promptly  confirmed.  The 
first  official  meeting  of  this  board  was  held  in 
March,  1877,  in  Denver,  when  W.  F.  Watrous 
was  elected  president  and  Harris  Stratton,  secre- 
tary. The  College  tax  for  1877  and  1878  amounted 
to  about  $8,000,  which  was  expended  in  the  erec- 
tion of  a  building,  planting  a  nursery  of  forest, 
fruit  and  shade  trees,  and  otherwise  improving  the 
grounds.  The  contract  price  of  the  building  was 
$7,280,  but  it  cost  several  hundred   dollars  more 


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ADMINISTRATION     BUILDIN^G,     COLORADO 
AGRICULTURAL    COLLEGE 

than  that  sum  which  the  contractor  and  his  bonds- 
men had  to  lose.  The  corner  stone  was  laid  July 
27th,  1878,  by  the  Grand  Lodge  of  Masons  of  Colo- 
rado, with  appropriate  ceremonies,  and  the  build- 
ing was  completed  in  December  of  that  year.  The 
building  committee  was  composed  of  W.  F. 
Watrous,  W.  A.  Bean,  B.  S.  LaGrange,  Harris 
Stratton  and  John  J.  Ryan.  George  E.  King,  of 
Boulder,  was  the  architect,  H.  C.  Baker,  of  Boulder, 
builder,  Andrew  Armstrong,  of  Fort  Collins,  super- 
intendent. The  sub-contractors  were  Charles 
Brotherton,  cut  stone;  Boyd  &  Weldon,  brick  work; 
O'Neil  &  Thorn,  plastering,  Wallace  &  Graves, 
painting;  Tedmon  Bros.,  tin  work. 

The  General  assembly  of  1879  increased  the  tax 
levy  for  the  college  to  one-fifth  of  a  mill  and 
authorized  the  board  to  borrow  $2,000  in  anticipa- 
tion of  the  tax  collections  for  use  in  furnishing  the 
.building  ready  for  the  opening  of  school,  which  had 
been  set  for  September  1st,  of  that  year. 

The  college  opened  on  Monday,  September  1st, 
1879,  with  25  students  enrolled.  The  faculty  was 
composed  of  Dr.  E.  E.  Edwards,  Ph.  D.,  President; 
A.  E.  Blount,  A.  M.,  Professor  of  practical  Agri- 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


culture   and    Farm    Superintendent;    F.    J.    Annis, 
Professor  of  Chemistry  and  Mathematics. 

The  second  year  of  the  college  opened  in  the  year 
1880,  in  September,  with  an  enrollment  of  fifty- 
seven  students  —  thirty-five 
males  and  twenty-two  females. 
From  this  on  the  enrollment  of 
registered  students  increased 
year  by  year  as  the  institution 
increased  in  age,  until,  on  June 
30th,  1910,  the  total  number 
was  878.  This,  for  a  mountain 
state  with  a  population  esti- 
mated at  between  800,000  and 
900,000  souls  is  a  most  gratify- 
ing showing. 

The  first  commencement  ex- 
ercises were  held  in  June,  1884, 
when  the  B.  S.  degree  was  con- 
ferred upon  three  graduates, 
George  H.  Glover,  Miss  Eliza- 
beth Coy  and  Leonidas  Loomis. 
Mr.  Glover  is  now  the  head  of 
the  department  of  Veterinary 
Science  of  his  Alma  Mater; 
Miss  Coy,  the  wife  of  Professor' 
James  W.  Lawrence,  head  of 
the  department  of  Mechanical 
Engineering  at  the  college,  and 
Mr.  Loomis  is  a  prosperous  far- 
mer and  stock  man  of  the 
Cache  la  Poudre  Valley. 

Additions  were  made  to  the 
faculty  and  teaching  force  from 
time  to  time  as  the  enrollment 
of  students  increased  and  condi- 
tions demanded,  until  at  the 
present  time,  there  are  thirty 
members  of  the  faculty,  includ- 
ing the  secretary,  and  twenty- 
six  instructors  and  assistants. 
During  its  thirty-one  years  of 
existence,  the  college  has  had 
six  presidents.  Dr..  E.  E.  Ed- 
wards, from  1879  to  1882;  Dr. 
Charles  L.  IngersoU,  from  1883 
to  1890;  Dr.  Alston  Ellis, 
from  1891  to  1899;  Dr.  B.  O. 
Aylesworth,  from  1900  to  1909. 
Professor  J.  W.  Lawrence,  dean 
of  the  faculty,  served  as  acting 
president  from  1890  to  1891. 
Dr.     Charles     A.     Lory     was 


elected  president  to  succeed  Dr.  Aylesworth  in  June, 
1909,  and  is  now  the  liead  of  the  institution. 

Under  the  authority  of  an  act  of  congress,  ap- 
proved March  2nd,  1887,  generally  known  as  the 


BUILDINGS   ON   COLLEGE   CAMPUS.      UPPER,   CONSERVATORY   OF    MUSIC. 

MIDDLE,   CIVIL  AND    IRRIGATION    ENGINEERING. 

LOWER,  MECHANICAL  ENGINEERING 

[139] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


Hatch  Act,  an  Agricultural  Experiment  station  was 
organized  and  established  at  the  college  in  Feb- 
ruary, 1888.  This  act  appropriated  $15,000  an- 
nually for  research,   investigation   and   experiments 


.,x-^mfM:'MJM 


BUILDINGS   ON    COLLEGE    CAMPUS.      UPPER,    ELECTRICAL   ENGINEERING 
BUILDING.      MIDDLE,   LILY  POND   AND    CAMPUS. 
LOWER,   AGRICULTURAL   HALL 
[140] 


along  the  lines  of  agriculture,  horticulture  and 
animal  husbandry,  and  in  the  arid  states  the  water 
problem  which  arises  out  of  their  systems  of  irri- 
gation. The  act  provided  that  the  results  of  these 
investigations  and  of  the  prac- 
tical experiments  should  be  pub- 
lished in  Station  bulletins  to  be 
issued  from  time  to  time  as  the 
investigations  were  completed. 
The  bulletins  issued  by  Colo- 
rado Experiment  Station  in 
compliance  with  the  act,  cover 
a  wide  range  of  industrial  top- 
ics, and  are  conceded  to  be 
among  the  most  notable  and 
valuable  contributions  to  the 
literature  on  the  subjects  inves- 
tigated that  have  been  made  to 
the  science  of  agriculture. 

On  the  30th  of  June,  1910, 
the  total  estimated  value  of 
the  College  property,  including 
lands,  buildings,  apparatus,  li- 
brary, machinery  and  live  stock, 
was  $688,267.  On  the  30th  of 
June,  1878,  the  total  value  of 
all  the  property  belonging  to  the 
college  was  $5,000.  The  col- 
lege buildings  now  include  the 
Main  building,  the  largest  on 
the  grounds.  It  contains  ofHces 
for  the  President,  Secretary, 
Registrar,  Director  of  Farmers' 
Institutes,  Commandant,  Rocky 
Mountain  Collegian,  the  Col- 
lege Magazine,  Y.  M.  C.  A. 
and  Y.  W.  C.  A. ;  offices  and 
class  rooms  for  the  department 
of  English,  Mathematics,  Mod- 
ern Languages,  History  and 
Literature,  Constitutional  His- 
tory and  Irrigation  Law;  an 
auditorium  with  opera  chairs 
for  seating  900  persons,  an 
armory  40  by  72  feet,  the  gym- 
nasium, and  a  laboratory  used 
by  the  department  of  physics. 

Large  Chemical  building, 
Electrical  Engineering  building, 
Old  Domestic  Science  building, 
Household  Arts  building,  erect- 
ed this  year  (1910)  at  a  cost  of 
$50,000.     This  is  the  gift  of 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


United  States  Senator  Simon  Guggenheim.  Horti- 
cultural Hall,  Mechanical  Engineering  building, 
Mechanical  and  Electrical  Engineering  Laboratory, 
Civil  and  Irrigation  Engineering  building,  com- 
pleted Feb.  1st,  1910,  Agricultural  Hall,  Stock 
Judging  pavilion,  Greenhouse  and  Forcing  Houses, 
Veterinary  buildings,  four  in  all. 

Farm  buildings,  including  barn,  sheds,  sheep 
barn,  piggery,  machinery  sheds,  farm  blacksmith 
shop  and  poultry  houses. 

Farm  Mechanics  building. 

Library,  with  room  for  40,000  bound  volumes 
and  50,000  unbound  pamphlets  and  bulletins, 
office  and  reading  room. 

Zoological  building,  a  handsome  two  story  struct- 
ure. 

The  wisdom  of  the  Territorial  Legislature  and 
the  Constitutional  Convention  in  locating  and  estab- 
lishing the  Colorado  Agricultural  College  at  Fort 
Collins  has  been  confirmed  by  subsequent  events 
and  the  development  of  agriculture  in  its  vicinity. 
The  institution  is  situated  in  the  richest  and  most 
productive  section  of  the  state,  where  farming  by 
irrigation  has  reached  a  very  high  stage  of  develop- 
ment. It  is  also  in  the  midst  of  fine  scenery  and 
near  enough  to  the  mountains  for  class  excursions 
to  study  geology,  botany,  entomology,  native  flora 
forestry,  and  fauna. 

Cramped  and  hindered  in  its  great  work  by  the 
lack  of  means,  it  took  the  college  many  years  to  get 
on  its  feet  and  be  able  to  demonstrate  its  usefulness, 
but  during  the  past  score  of  years  it  has  attained  a 
rank  and  standing  equal  to  the  very  best  of  similar 
institutions  in  the  United  States.  Indeed,  it  out 
ranks  them  all  in  many  respects.  Its  graduates  are 
sought  after  by  Agricultural  colleges  in  all  parts 
of  the  United  States,  to  fill  positions  as  professors 
and  instructors.  Many  of  them  are  employed  by 
the  government  in  the  reclamation  service,  in  the 
forestry  service  and  in  scientific  research  and  ex- 
permanent  work.  A  number  of  the  graduates  in 
civil  and  irrigation  engineering  have  attained  emi- 
nence in  the  government's  reclamation  service,  and 
are  recognized  the  country  over  as  being  the  best 
fitted  and  best  qualified  constructive  engineers  in 
that  service.  The  college  has  done  and  is  doing  a 
grand  good  work  for  Colorado  and  the  arid  regions 
of  the  west,  yearly  graduating  from  its  class  rooms 
young  men  and  young  women  who  promptly  take 
high  rank  as  civil  and  irrigation  engineers,  scientists, 
and  instructors  and  who  are  filling  important  and 
responsible  positions  in  the  industrial  and  scientific 
world.     While   the  institution  has  had  a  remark- 


able growth  since  it  came  into  being,  considering 
the  unfavorable  conditions  encompassing  its  incep- 
tion and  the  obstacles  it  has  had  to  overcome,  it  is 
not  a  wild  guess  to  predict  for  it  a  still  brighter 
future. 

The  present  State  Board  of  Agriculture  is  com- 
posed of: 

Terra   Expires 

Hon.  T.  J.  Ehrhart,  Centerville 1919 

Hon.   Chas.  Pearson,  Durango 1919 

Hon.  R.  W.  Corwin,  Pueblo 1913 

Hon.  A.  A.  Edwards,  Fort  Collins 1913 

Hon.  F.  E.  Brooks,  Colorado  Springs ■ 1915 

Hon.  J.  L.  Brush   Greeley 1915 

Hon.  J.  C.  Bell,  Montrose 1917 

Hon.  E.  M.  Ammons,  Littleton 1917 

Governor  John  F.  Shafroth }    gx-Officio. 

President  Chas.  A.  Lory ) 

As  a  means  of  showing  the  growth  of  the  institu- 
tion since  it  was  opened  in  September,  1879,  with 
only  three  members  of  the  faculty,  and  the  extent 
and  character  of  the  work  carried  on  along  edu- 
cational lines,  the  following  list  of  officers,  board 
committees,  members  of  the  faculty,  instructors  and 
assistants  is  herewith  appended : 

Officers 

Hon.    A.    A.    Edwards President 

Hon.    Jared    L.    Brush Vice-President 

L.    M.    Taylor Secretary 

Geo.   A.   Webb Treasurer 

Standing    Committees 

Executive — A.  A.  Edwards,  J.  L.  Brush,  E.  M.  Am- 
raonds. 

Finance— F.  E.  Brooks,  R.  W.  Corwin,  J.  L.  Brush. 

Farm,  Stock  and  Veterinary  Science — T.  J.  Ehrhart,  J.  L. 
Brush,  John  C.  Bell. 

Faculty  and  Courses  of  Study — E.  M.  Ammons,  F.  E. 
Brooks,  John  C.  Bell. 

Botany,  Horticulture  and  Entomology — R.  W.  Corwin, 
E.  M.  Ammons,  T.  J.  Ehrhart. 

Mathematics,  Engineering  and  Military  Science — Chas. 
Pearson,  T.  J.  Ehrhart,  E.  M.  Ammons. 

Chemistry—?.  E.  Brooks,  John  C.  Bell,  R.  W.  Corwin. 

College  Lands  and  Leases— ^ohn  C.  Bell,  J.  L.  Brush, 
Chas.  Pearson. 

College  Buildings  and  Permanent  Improvements — J.  L. 
Brush,  E.  M.  Ammons,  R.  W.  Corwin. 

Home  Economics,  Library  and  Music — ^R.  W.  Corwin, 
T.  J.  Ehrhart,  Chas.  Pearson. 

History,  Literature,  English  and  Rhetoric — C.  A.  Lory, 
Chas.  Pearson,  J.  L.  Brush. 

Farmers'  Institutes— E.  M.  Ammons,  John  C.  Bell,  F.  E. 
Brooks. 

Salaries — E.  M.  Ammons,  F.  E.  Brooks,  Chas.  Pearson. 

Faculty 

Chas.  A.  Lory,  M.  S.,  LL.  D.  (Univ.  of  Colorado), 
President. 

James  W.  Lawrence,  M.  E.  (C.  A.  C),  Dean  of  the 
Faculty  and  Professor  of  Mechanical  Engineering. 

Clarence  P.  Gillette,  M.  S.  (Mich.  Agr.  College),  Pro- 
fessor of  Zoology  and  Entomology,  and  Director  of  the 
Experiment  Station. 

William  P.  Headden,  A.  M.,  Ph.  D.  (Giessen),  Profes- 
sor of  Chemistry  and  Geology. 

[141] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


Edward  B.  House,  B.  S.  (E.  E.),  (Univ.  of  Mich.), 
M.  S._(C.  A.  C),  Professor  of  Civil  and  Irrigation  En- 
gineering. 

Virginia  H.  Corbett,  B.  L.,  M.  Ph.  (Iowa  State  Col- 
lege), Associate  Professor  of  History  and  Literature  and 
Adviser  of  Women. 

George  H.  Glover,  M.  S.,  D.  V.  M.  (Iowa  State  Col- 
lege), Professor  of  Theory  and  Practice,  and  Head  of 
Division  of  Veterinary  Science. 

William  Russell  Thomas,  A.  B.  (Williams),  Litt.  D. 
(Denver  Univ.),  Associate  Professor  of  Constitutional  His- 
tory and  Irrigation  Law. 

B.  F.  Coen,  B.  L.  (Univ.  of  Wisconsin),  Professor  of 
English. 

S.  L.  Macdonald,  B.  S.  (Ind.  State  Normal),  Professor 
of  Mathematics. 

Harry  D.  Humphrey,  Capt.  U.  S.  A.  (Ret.),  Professor 
of  Military  Science  and  Tactics. 


H.  E.  Kingman,  B.  8.  (C.  A.  C),  D.  V.  S.  (Kansas  City 
Vet.  College),  M.  D.  V.  (McKillip's  Vet.  College,  Chi- 
cago), Professor  of  Veterinary  Materia  Medica. 

L.  M.  Taylor,  Secretary  of  The  State  Board  of  Agricul- 
ture and  the  Faculty. 

E.  R.  Bennett,  B.  S.,  M.  H.  (Mich.  Agr.  College),  Pro- 
fessor of  Horticulture. 

T.  M.  Netherton,  A.  B.,  A.  M.  (William  Jewell  Col- 
lege; Univ.  of  Chicago),  Principal,  School  of  Agriculture. 

F.  A.  Delay,  B.  S.  (E.  E.),  Univ.  of  Wisconsin,  Profes- 
sor of  Physics  and  Electrical  Engineering. 

C.  H.  Hinman,  A.  B.  (Univ.  of  Nebraska),  Superin- 
tendent of  Extension. 

Ralph  Parshall,  B.  S.  (C.  A.  C),  Assistant  Professor 
in  Civil  and  Irrigation  Engineering. 

Fred  G.  Person,  B.  A.  (Univ.  of  Colorado),  Assistant 
Professor     of  Physics  and  Electrical  Engineering. 


SIMON   GUGGENHEIM   HALL   OF  HOUSEHOLD   ARTS 


George  E.  Morton,  M.  L.,  B.  S.  A.  (C.  A.  C),  Professor 
of  Animal  Husbandry. 

Fred  C.  Alford,  M.  S.  (C.  A.  C),  Associate  Professor 
of  Chemistry. 

Burton  O.  Longyear,  B.  S.  (Mich.  Agr.  College),  Pro- 
fessor of  Botany  and   Forestry. 

S.  Arthur  Johnson,  M.  S.  (Rutgers),  Associate  Professor 
of  Zoology   and   Entomology. 

Mary  F.  Rausch,  B.  S.  (C.  A.  C),  Professor  of  Home 
Economics. 

I.  E.  Newsom,  B.  S.  (C.  A.  C),  D.  V.  C.  (San  Francisco 
Vet.  College  and  Kansas  City  Vet.  College),  Professor  of 
Veterinary  Anatomy. 

C.  L.  Barnes,  D.  V.  M.  (N.  Y.  State  Vet.  College),  Pro- 
fessor of  Veterinary  Surgery. 

B.  F.  Kaupp,  M.  S.  (C.  A.  C),  D.  V.  S.  (Kansas  Vet. 
College),  Professor  of  Veterinary  Pathology. 

Sarah  I.  Kettle,  A.  B.  (Univ.  of  Colorado),  Professor 
of  Modern  Languages. 

Alvin  Keyser,  B.  S.,  M.  A.  (Univ.  of  Nebraska),  Pro- 
fessor of  Agronomy. 

[142] 


Inga  M.  K.  Allison,  E.  B.  (Univ.  of  Chicago),  Profes- 
sor of  Home  Economics  and  Acting  Head  of  the  Depart- 
ment. 

Charlotte  A.  Baker,  Librarian. 

Instructors  and  Assistants 

D.  C.  Bascom,  B.  S.  (Kansas  State  Agr.  College),  Gen- 
eral Secretary  of  College,  Y.  M.  C.  A. 

B.  G.  D.  Bishopp,  B.  S.  (C.  A.  C),  Instructor  in  Animal 
Husbandry. 

L.  C.  Bragg,  Curator  of  the  Museum. 

Zula  M.  Brockett,  B.  S.  (Tarkio  College),  Instructor  in 
English  and  Literature. 

Albert  B.  Cammack,  M.  E.  (Iowa  State  College),  In- 
structor in  Mechanical  Engineering. 

George  M.  Cassidy,  B.  S.  (Univ.  of  Vermont),  Physical 
Director. 

Phebe  S.  Copps  (Armour  Institute  of  Technology),  In- 
structor in  Home  Economics. 

J.  Blaine  Crabbe,  A.  B.  (Ohio  Wesleyan  Univ.),  B.  O. 
(Emerson  School  of  Oratory),  Instructor  in  English. 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


E.  Arlene  Dilts,  Assistant  in  Library. 

Margaret  Durward,  Ph.  B.  (Univ.  of  Chicago),  In- 
structor in  Mathematics. 

H.  E.  Dvorachek,  B.  S.  A.  (Univ.  of  Minnesota),  In- 
structor in  Animal  Husbandry. 

Anna  Elizabeth  Elwell,  B.  A.  (Univ.  of  Colorado),  As- 
sistant in  Physics. 

Julius  Erdman  (College  of  Horticulture,  Roestritz,  Ger- 
many), Gardener  and  Instructor  in  Floriculture. 

D.  W.  Frear,  B.  S.  A.  (Univ.  of  Minnesota),  Instructor 
in  Agronomy. 

Fred  N.  Langridge,  M.  E.  (C.  A.  C),  Instructor  in 
Mechanical  Engineering. 

James  _D.  Marshall,  B.  S.  A.  (Univ.  of  Wisconsin),  In- 
structor in  Agronomy. 

Miriam  A.  Palmer,  A.  M.  (Univ.  of  Kansas),  Instructor 
in  Freehand  Drawing. 

W.  A.  Peek,  B.  S.  A.  (Iowa  Agr.  College),  Instructor  in 
Farm  Mechanics. 

Michiel  Pesman,  B.  S.  (C.  A.  C),  Instructor  in  Botany. 

Hiram  Pierce,  Instructor  in  Carpentry. 

Maude  A.  Propst,  A.  B.  (Rockford  College),  Instructor 
in  Home  Economics. 

Fred  J.  Rankin,  B.  M.  E.  (Univ.  of  Kentucky),  In- 
structor  in  Forge   and   Foundry  Practice. 

Annie  L.  Robinson,  B.  S.  (Teachers'  College,  New  York 
City),  Instructor  in  Domestic  Art. 

S.  Van  Smith,  B.  S.  (Kansas  State  Agr.  College),  In- 
structor in  Horticulture. 

J.  S.  Standt,  A.  M.  (Franklin  and  Marshall  College), 
Instructor  in  Electrical  Engineering. 

Mrs.  C.  Agnes  Upson,  Assistant  in  Physical  Culture 
for  Women. 

Carey  E.  Vail,  B.  Sc.  (Nebraska  Wesleyan),  M.  A. 
(Univ.  of  Nebraska),  Instructor  in  Chemistry. 

Ida  Walker,  Assistant  in  Library. 

W.  E.  Vaplon,   Instructor  in  Animal  Husbandry. 

Faculty   Committees 

Executive — J.  W.  Lawrence,  S.  Arthur  Johnson,  Geo.  H. 
Glover,  B.  F.  Coen,  S.  L.  Macdonald,  Virginia  Corbett, 
Alvin  Keyser,  T.  M.  Netherton. 

Social — Virginia  Corbett,  Margaret  Durward,  B.  G.  D. 
Bishopp,  E.  B.  House,  T.  M.  Netherton. 

Rural  Education — S.  Arthur  Johnson,  B.  F.  Coen,  T.  M. 
Netherton. 

Catalogue — B.  F.  Coen,  S.  Van  SmitTi,  B.  O.  Longyear. 

Athletic — Geo.  M.  Cassidy,  S.  L.  Macdonald,  Ralph 
Parshall. 

Advanced  Degrees — Wm.  P.  Headden,  J.  W.  Lawrence, 
W.  R.  Thomas. 

Introduction  of  Fruit  Growing  in 
Larimer  County 

The  following  article  on  fruit  growing  in  Lari- 
mer county  was  written  in  1898  by  Charles  E. 
Pennock,  of  Bellvue,  whose  phenomenal  success  as 
a  theoretical  and  practical  horticulturist  makes  him 
an  authority  on  the  subject: 

"If  in  1859  or  '60,  when  crowds  of  people  were 
flocking  to  Pike's  Peak  in  search  of  gold,  had  one 
among  the  number  ventured  the  prediction  that  the 
Great  American  Desert  would  ever  become  what  it 
is  today,  and  (from  the  progress  now  being  made) 
what  it  is  sure  to  become  in  the  very  near  future, 


that  person  would  have  been  adjudged  insane  and  a 
fit  subject  for  an  asylum,  had  there  been  such  an 
institution  in  the  land.  Despite  the  evidence  on 
every  hand  to  the  contrary,  then  and  for  many  years 
after,  the  general  belief  and  cry  was  that  no  fruit 
could  be  grown  in  Colorado.  Better  native  fruits 
were  not  in  the  United  States  than  could  be  found 
growing  wild  at  that  time  along  the  streams,  on 
the  Plains  and  in  the  mountains  to  timber  line, 
and  in  assortment  sufficient  to  supply  the  table  in  a 
satisfactory  manner. 

There  was  one  who  took  Nature's  hint,  and 
Abner  Loomis,  of  Larimer  county,  putting  his 
faith  into  action,  brought  500  apjple  trees  and 
several  sacks  of  walnuts  and  hickory  nuts  for  plant- 
ing. These  were  brought  across  the  Plains  with  ox 
teams  in  1862,  probably  the  first  ever  brought  into 
the  state.  These  were  mostly  planted  on  Mr. 
Loomis'  farm  in  Pleasant  valley,  some  being  given 
to  the  neighbors  for  trial.  Some  of  the  trees,  still 
bearing  and  fruitful,  stand  witnesses  to  the  wisdom 
and  forethought  of  the  planter.  From  the  walnut 
seed  planted,  there  is  on  the  old  place  a  grove  of 
trees  that  for  size  can  be  equalled  no  other  place  in 
the  state.  While  Mr.  Loomis  was  laying  the  foun- 
dation for  orchards  in  northern  Colorado,  Jesse 
Frazer  was  doing  the  same  for  the  southern  part, 
and  with  equal  success.  These  two  names  should 
go  down  in  history  as  the  heroes  of  Horticulture  in 
Colorado. 

"Their  early  plantings  induced  others  to  try,  but 
with  varying  success.  Trees  were  usually  received 
in  poor  condition,  irrigation  was  but  little  under- 
stood, and  there  were  other  drawbacks,  so  that 
fruit  growing  was  not  begun  in  earnest  until  W.  F. 
Watrous,  J.  S.  McClelland,  A.  N.  Hoag,  Z.  C. 
Plummer  and  P.  P.  Black,  by  their  intelligent 
application  of  the  principles  of  Irrigation  and  pains- 
taking experiments  as  to  varieties,  proved  that  fruit 
growing  could  be  developed  into  a  safe  and  profit- 
able industry.  The  experiments  of  these  old  pio- 
neers and  their  ever  ready  help  and  advice  entitle 
them  to  the  thanks  of  every  citizen  of  the  county 
who  has  been  encouraged  by  their  experience  to  like- 
wise become  planters. 

"Each  year  brings  a  great  increase  in  planting, 
and  if  the  present  rate  continues,  it  will  not  be  long 
before  the  tillable  part  of  Larimer  county  will  be 
as  one  vast  orchard.  It  was  at  first  supposed  that 
only  the  hardier  sorts  of  crabs  would  succeed,  but 
e.xperlence  has  shown  that  not  only  all  the  varieties 
of  apples  might  be  grown  successfully,  but  also 
plums,  cherries,  pears,  peaches  (the  last  to  a  limited 


[143] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


extent),    grapes,    blackberries,    raspberries    and    all 
small  fruits  could  be  raised  to  perfection. 

"As  is  general,  here  too,  the  apple  occupies  the 
most  important  place  in  the  list  of  fruits  planted. 
Under  irrigation  it  attains  its  highest  excellence.  In 
no  other  country  are  apples  so  beautiful  in  color,  or 
so  fine  in  flavor,  while  so  far  as  observation  and 
experience  go,  any  variety  the  taste  desires  may  be 
expected  to  thrive. 

In  a  commercial  way,  the  most  profitable  are 
(winter)  Ben  Davis,  Winesap  and  Jonathan; 
(fall)  Wealthy,  Utter's  Red  and  Haas;  (summer) 
Red  Astrachan,  Dutchess  and  Red  June. 

"As  plant  life  thrives  in  Colorado  so  does  insect 
life,  and  most  of  the  fruits  grown  have  each  their 
peculiar  enemies  that  can  only  be  kept  in  check  by 
the  intelligent  application  of  remedies.  Among  the 
most  troublesome  diseases  of  the  apple  tree  in  the 
past  has  been  the  blight,  a  fungus  that  attacks  the 
twigs  and  sometimes  the  trunk  of  the  tree.  Its 
fatal  effect  has  been  confined  mainly  to  the  crab 
varieties  and  as  they  are  dying  out,  so  is  the  blight 
becoming  less  prevalent.  There  have  been  many 
remedies  recommended  for  this  disease,  but  no  cure 
has  ever  been  found.  The  best  "remedy"  is  to 
plant  varieties  that  are  least  subject  to  it,  by  which 
course  blight  is  not  particularly  to  be  feared.  The 
leaf  roller,  coddling  moth  and  the  wooly  aphis 
prey  on  apple  trees,  but  the  use  of  the  modern  spray- 
ing apparatus  and  insecticides  render  them  no  dis- 
couragement to  planting. 

"Pears  have  of  late  years  been  but  little  planted. 
The  first  plantings  being  for  the  most  part  killed 
out  by  fire  blight,  it  was  generally  thought  of  no 
use  to  try  further  But  it  is  now  known  that  with 
pears,  as  with  apples,  there  are  kinds  that  do  not 
blight.  The  Seckel  and  Tyson  seem  exceptionally 
free  from  the  disease  and  there  are  doubtless  other 
sorts  later  to  become  known.  This  branch  of  horti- 
culture has  been  neglected,  and  the  one  who  plants  a 
pear  orchard  of  the  right  varieties  has  a  fortune  in 
store. 

The  canons  of  the  foothills  abound  with  plums 
of  excellent  flavor  and  color,  and  experience  in 
planting  cultivated  sorts  shows  Larimer  county  to 
be  a  natural  plum  county.  In  general,  American 
sorts  do  best,  some  of  the  European  kinds  proving 
tender  in  fruit  bud,  but  enough  of  the  latter  have 
been  tested  to  demonstrate  that  we  can  grow  plums 
of  the  fanciest  kinds.  The  worst  enemy  to  the 
plum  in  this  region  is  the  gouger,  but  its  attacks 
cannot  be  said  to  prove  a  real  injury.  It  gives  to 
overloaded    trees    a   thinning   which,    left   to   man, 

[144] 


they  in  most  cases  would  probably  not  get.  This 
insect  does  not  attack  European  sorts.  As  with  the 
apple,  many  kinds  can  be  successfully  grown,  but 
perhaps  the  most  profitable  are  of  American  sorts. 
Sunset,  Cheney  and  Forest  Garden;  and  of  the 
European,  Moore's  Arctic,  Saratoga  and  Bradshaw. 
Other  kinds  may  rank  with  these,  or  even  supercede 
them,  but  so  far  nothing  better  is  known. 

"It  is  only  the  past  few  years  that  cherries  have 
been  planted  in  a  commercial  way,  but  present 
indications  are  that  lost  time  will  shortly  be  fully 
made  up.  So  rapid  has  been  the  planting  that  as 
a  consequence  prices  of  trees  are  being  advanced 
by  eastern  nurserymen.  A  single  orchard  planted 
last  season  consists  of  11,000  trees,  and  there  are 
numberless  orchards  of  lesser  amount.  Cherries 
thrive  wonderfully  well  in  this  latitude,  and  no 
doubt  a  large  part  of  the  country  will  in  time  de- 
pend on  northern  Colorado  for  this  excellent  fruit. 
The  sorts  principally  planted  are  the  Early  Rich- 
mond and  English  Morello.  Of  the  two,  the 
Morello  is  larger  and  more  productive  at  an  early 
age,  but  seems  to  have  an  inherited  weakness  and 
as  a  rule  is  short  lived.  Mr.  B.  B.  Harris  is  con- 
sidered the  father  of  the  cherry  in  the  county,  and 
it  is  mainly  due  to  his  effort  that  so  many  have  been 
planted.    As  yet  no  insect  preys  on  the  cherry  here. 

"Peaches  have  not  as  yet  been  successfully  grown 
in  Larimer  county,  the  winters  being  too  severe. 
It  seems  to  make  no  difference  as  to  variety.  They 
can  be  grown  by  protection,  and  it  is  possible  the 
conditions  may  so  change,  by  the  modifying  of  the 
seasons,  that  in  time  even  peaches  can  be  grown 
profitably.  The  present  season  would  indicate  this, 
there  being  many  trees  loaded  with  fruit,  and  that 
without  any  winter  protection. 

"Any  of  the  hardy  grapes  do  well  in  the  county. 
They  bear  abundantly,  and  need  no  protection  after 
the  first  two  or  three  years.  Not  much  attention 
has  been  given  to  the  planting  of  vineyards  for  the 
reason  that  grapes  are  shipped  in  from  the  East  at 
such  low  prices  that  other  branches  of  the  business 
offer  larger  returns,  though  that  grapes  could  be 
raised  at  a  fair  profit  there  is  no  reason  to  doubt. 

"Enormous  crops  of  strawberries  are  produced 
every  year.  So  many  new  varieties  are  annually  in- 
troduced, that  from  the  long  list  of  good  sorts  it 
would  be  difficult  to  name  a  few  to  be  called  best. 

"Blackberries,  raspberries,  gooseberries  and  cur- 
rants do  splendidly  in  a  money  m.aking  way,  with 
very  little  trouble  from  insects  or  diseases.  Black- 
berries and  raspberries  have  to  be  protected  by  a 
covering  through  the  winter,  but  this  labor  is  not 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


a  loss,  as  the  thorough  cultivation  thus  given  well 
pays  for  the  labor  cost. 

"Of  the  wild  or  native  fruits  growing,  the  list  is 
quite  a  large  one,  though  the  size  and  the  quality 
of  some  of  the  fruits  are  not  quite  up  to  what  it 
was  in  an  early  day;  due  to  the  filling  up  of  the 
country  with  cattle  which  keeps  tender  shoots 
nipped  off  and  thus  prevent  renewal.  Many  of 
the  best  fruits  have  been  killed  out  and  lost,  though 
quite  a  number  have  been  saved  and  added  to  the 
list  of  cultivated  sorts.  There  are  still  to  be  found 
plums,  cherries,  currants,  gooseberries,  juneberries, 
buffalo  berries,  raspberries  and  strawberries,  some 
of  them  the  best  flavor  of  any  fruits  grown.  It  is 
likely  that  the  most  value  to  be  got  from  these 
native  fruits  is  by  crossing  with  the  cultivated 
sorts  and  getting  new  hardy  strains  with  added 
flavor. 

"Colorado  is  justly  noted  for  the  color  and  flavor 
produced.  So  much  is  this  the  case  that  often  old 
fruits  in  the  East  are  not  recognized  after  being 
brought  under  irrigation  in  the  sunny  clime  of 
Colorado.  And  there  is  very  good  reasons  for  this 
change  in  the  fruit.  Heat,  light  and  moisture  are 
three  necessary  requirements  for  the  perfect  de- 
velopment of  fruit,  and  these  we  have  to  depend 
upon.  In  the  East  when  they  get  moisture  they 
also  get  cool  and  cloudy  weather,  whereas  here  when 
moisture  is  needed,  the  headgate  need  only  be 
raised  and  while  the  warm  soil  is  absorbing  moist- 
ure at  roots  of  the  tree,  the  bright  sun  overhead  is 
coloring  and  perfecting  the  growing  fruit.  So 
much  is  the  growing  in  the  hands  of  man  in  Colo- 
rado, that  fruit  can  almost  be  grown  in  color  and 
flavor  to  order  and  still,  with  all  these  advantages 
for  growing  the  finest  fruits  on  earth,  the  same  old 
croakers  who  preached  for  years  that  fruit  could 
not  be  raised  in  Colorado,  are  now  crying  it  is 
going  to  be  overdone  and  when  the  trees  now 
planted  get  to  bearing  crops  there  will  be  no  de- 
mand for  the  fruit.  For  many  reasons  there  would 
seem  to  be  no  danger  of  an  overproduction.  We 
are  now  undoubtedly  passing  through  the  most  un- 
profitable period  in  fruit  growing;  rather  too  much 
for  local  needs  and  not  enough  for  export.  East- 
ern competitors  need  not  be  feared.  They  have 
their  off  years,  while  through  the  application  of 
irrigation  just  when  needed,  fruit  buds  can  be 
made  to  form  here  every  year.  Thus  it  is  seen, 
Colorado  can  compete  with  the  East  in  any  year, 
and  advantage  can  be  taken  of  their  "off"  years  to 
obtain  better  prices.  From  a  small  beginning  only 
a   few  years   ago   the   fruit   industry  has   advanced 


with  rapid  strides  until  it  has  become  one  of  the 
most  important  industries  in  the  state,  and  with 
the  same  rate  of  progress  it  will  outstrip  all  others 
and  take  its  place  at  the  head.  From  a  horti- 
cultural point  of  view,-  Larimer  county  has  bright 
prospects." 

County  Fair  Association 

Following  the  completion  of  the  Colorado  Cent- 
ral railroad  from  Denver  to'  Cheyenne  in  1877, 
immigration  set  in  with  considerable  force  and  the 
county  began  filling  up  quite  rapidly,  so  that  at  the 
close  of  1878  the  population  had  increased  to  about 
3,000.  Most  of  the  new-comers  were  farmers  from 
the  middle  west  who  came,  as  a  general  thing, 
with  well-filled  purses,  strong  hearts  and  willing 
hands  to  seek  new  homes  in  a  more  genial  climate 
and  where  future  prospects  were  brighter.  Some 
of  these  purchased  improved  or  partly  improved 
farms,  but  by  far  the  greater  number  located  on 
new  land,  either  under  irrigating  ditches  already 
constructed  or  under  new  projects  that  were  in 
course  of  construction.  They  were,  in  the  main,  an 
enterprising  class  of  people  who  brought  with 
them  the  inbred  customs  and  habits  of  their  former 
eastern  homes.  In  this  western  land  they  missed 
many  of  the  social  advantages  they  had  been  ac- 
customed to,  and  with  a  spirit  characteristic  of  in- 
telligent, well-bred  native  born  Americans,  they 
promptly  set  about  supplying  the  missing  links. 
One  of  the  things  they  missed  was  the  annual 
county  fair,  which  had  been  a  prominent  feature  in 
their  former  homes,  and  one  in  which  they  had 
taken  a  great  deal  of  interest,  and  naturally,  they 
desired  to  have  it  established  and  made  a  perman- 
ent institution  in  their  new  home. 

The  year  1878  was  a  fruitful  one  in  Larimer 
county.  Crops  were  good  and  the  live  stock  in- 
terests had  made  rapid  gains,  consequently  condi- 
tions were  favorable  for  starting  a  movement  in 
favor  of  organizing  a  county  fair  association.  This 
was  done  in  October  of  that  year.  The  local 
newspapers  discussed  the  subject  freely  and  con- 
siderable interest  was  aroused  among  the  people, 
especially  among  the  farmers  and  stockmen  of  the 
county.  It  was  finally  thought  best  to  organize  a 
county  fair  association  as  a  joint  stock  company 
with  a  capital  of  $3,000  divided  into  one  hundred 
shares  of  $30  each.  The  stock  was  soon  sub- 
scribed and  an  informal  meeting  of  the  shareholders 
was  held  in  Wilson's  hall  on  Saturday  evening, 
November  16th.     John  C.  Matthews  presided,'  and 


[145] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


I.  W.  Bennett  was  secretary.  At  this  meeting  a 
committee  composed  of  A.  R.  Chaffee,  A.  J.  Ames 
and  Joseph  Prendergast  was  chosen  to  select  suitable 
fair  grounds,  not  less  than  forty  acres  to  be  fitted  up 
by  the  association,  for  holding  county  fairs  and  speed 
contests.  This  committee  reported  November  19th 
that  forty  acres  of  ground  belonging  to  W.  C. 
Stover,  situated  about  one  mile  east  of  town,  which 
could  be  obtained  for  $640,  had  been  selected.  The 
land  was  purchased  and  preparations  for  holding  a 
county  fair  in  the  fall  of  1879,  were  begun.  On 
Monday  evening  the  share  holders  held  another 
meeting  and  perfected  a  permanent  organization 
by  electing  N.  H.  Meldrum,  president;  J.  W.  Nor- 
vell,  secretary;  Joseph  Prendergast,  treasurer; 
Sherman  Smith,  Charles  Baldwin,  W.  P.  Morgan, 
Thomas  Earnest,  Marsh  Jones,  A.  J.  Derby  and  A. 
R.  Chaffee,  directors.  The  name  adopted  was  the 
Larimer  County  Agricultural  and  Mechanical 
Association. 

The  first  county  fair  was  held  on  Thursday, 
Friday  and  Saturday,  October  9th,  10th  and  11th, 
1879,  and  it  was  a  successful  one.  The  exhibits 
in  the  agricultural,  stock  growing,  mechanical  and 
fine  arts  departments  were  excellent  and  attractive 
and  the  racing  good.  About  300  entries  were  made; 
the  weather  fine  and  the  attendance  better  than  ex- 
pected. 

At  the  second  annual  meeting  of  the  stockhold- 
ers, held  Saturday  evening,  Oct.  11,  a  new  board 
of  directors  and  new  officers  were  elected  as  fol- 
lows: Directors,  John  E.  Washburn,  Thomas  H. 
Johnson,  Joseph  Mason,  Geo.  E.  Buss,  W.  S. 
Taylor,  W.  F.  Watrous,  Wm.  N.  Bachelder, 
Joseph  Prendergast,  E.  E.  Edwards,  A.  H.  Patter- 
son and  H.  Stratton.  The  directors  elected  the 
following  officers:  President,  Joseph  Mason;  vice- 
president,  John  E.  Washburn;  secretary,  Harris 
Stratton ;  treasurer,  Geo.  E.  Buss ;  superintendent, 
Joseph  Prendergast. 

The  second  fair  was  held  four  days,  ending  Fri- 
day, September  24th,  1880.  A  greater  number  of 
exhibits  was  displayed  in  each  department  than  at 
the  first  fair,  and  the  exposition  was  a  success  in 
every  way  except  financially.  Owing  to  windy 
weather  and  clouds  of  dust  the  attendance  was 
light  and  the  association  came  out  in  debt.  The 
annual  meeting  of  the  stockholders  was  held  on 
Thursday  evening,  September  23rd,  and  elected 
the  following  directors :  John  Riddle,  Joseph 
Prendergast,  W.  F.  Scribner,  George  S.  Brown,  A. 
J.  Ames,  Edson  Warren,  W.  P.  Morgan,  John 
Hahn,  J.  G.  Coy  and  R.  Q.  Tenney. 

[146] 


The  third  fair  was  held  September  21st  to  24th, 
1881.  The  weather  was  fine,  the  exhibits  in  each 
department  numerous,  the  attendance  on  the  last 
three  days  unusually  good,  and  the  entertainment 
in  the  speed  ring  attractive.  Altogether  it  was  a 
successful  and  profitable  county  fair.  John  G.  Coy 
was  president  of  the  association  and  R.  Q.  Tenney, 
secretary. 

The  annual  meeting  of  the  stockholders  was 
held  Saturday  evening,  September  24,  and  the 
board  of  directors  elected  was  composed  of  William 
Calloway,  N.  C.  Alford,  J.  G.  Coy,  Joseph  Pren- 
dergast, John  Riddle,  W.  F.  Scribner,  R.  Q. 
Tenney,  Edson  Warren,  P.  Anderson,  James 
Neville,  J.  J.  Ryan  and  James  Sullivan.  Secre- 
tary Tenney  reported  the  association  in  a  flourish- 
ing condition,  with  funds  enough  on  hand  to  meet 
all  matured  liabilities  and  money  to  spare.  The 
directors  elected  as  follows:  President,  J.  G.  Coy, 
Vice-President,  Joseph  Prendergast;  Treasurer,  N. 
C.  Alford ;  Secretary,  R.  Q.  Tenney ;  Superintend- 
eent,  W.  F.  Scribner. 

The  fourth  county  fair  was  held  September  23 
to  26,  1882.  The  exhibits  were  not  up  to  the 
standard  set  in  1881,  either  in  number  or  quality, 
and  the  attendance  was  light. 

The  fifth  annual  county  fair  opened  Wednes- 
day, October  3rd,  1883,  with  a  fine  display  of  live 
stock  and  agricultural  products.  Among  the 
features  were  races  between  the  Fort  Collins  hook 
and  ladder  company  and  the  Greeley  hooks,  and  hose 
teams  of  the  two  towns.  The  Greeley  firemen  won 
the  first  and  tied  with  the  locals  in  second  race.  At 
the  close  of  that  year's  exposition  the  Larimer 
County  Agricultural  and  Mechanical  Association 
found  itself  deeply  involved  in  debt  and  it  was 
deemed  best  to  effect  a  reorganization  and  start 
anew  with  more  capital.  To  this  end  a  meeting 
of  the  shareholders  was  held  early  in  1884,  at  which 
the  following  statement  of  the  financial  condition 
of  the  old  association  was  read : 

"The  present  financial  condition  of  the  associa- 
tion is  as  follows : 

"There  is  an  incumbrance  on  the  40  acres  of 
land  owned  by  the  association  and  due 

"February   1st,    1885,   of $3,000.00 

"Interest  on  the  above  now  overdue 360.00 

"Interest  that  will  be  due  February   1st, 

1885    360.00 

"Taxes  and  other  liabilities  now  overdue.  .  640.00 

"Total    $4,360.00 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER 


COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


"The  following  proposition  was  then  submitted 
to  the  meeting  and  adopted: 

"  'It  is  proposed  to  transfer  the  property  to  a 
new  association  to  be  known  as  the  Larimer  County 
Fair  Association,  for  the  sum  of  $4,000,  the  new 
association  to  pay  $1,000  in  cash  to  the  L.  C.  A.  M. 
and  assume  the  encumbrance  of  $3,000  and  interest 
as  from  the  1st  of  February,  1884,  the  cash  pay- 
ment of  $1,000  being  used  by  the  old  association 
to  pay  the  $360  interest  now  due  and  the  $640  of 
other  liabilities.  The  subscribers  to  the  stock  of 
the  new  association  and  amount  of  each  subscrip- 
tion follows:  F.  L.  Carter-Cotton,  $250.00;  W.  F. 
Scribner,  $250.00;  I.  W.  Bennett,  $250.00;  James 
Sweeney,  $250.00;  Thos.  Earnest,  $250.00;  Ab. 
Loomis,  $250.00 ;  P.  Anderson,  $250.00 ;  N.  C.  Al- 
ford,  $250.00;  M.  F.  Jones,  $250.00;  Rogers  & 
Williams,  $250.00;  John  Riddle,  $250.00;  F.  W. 
Sherwood,  $250.00;  B.  F.  Hottel,  $250.00;  J.  S. 
McClelland,  $250.00;  W.  B.  Miner,  $250.00;  F. 
G.  Bartholf,  $200.00 ;  P.  S.  Wilson,  $250.00 ;  Jas. 
B.  Arthur,  $250.00;  John  L.  Routt,  $200.00;  T.  A. 
Gage,  $200.00;  J.  A.  Brown,  $200.00;  Andrew 
McGinley,  $200.00;  H.  T.  Miller,  $200.00;  A.  D. 
Gifford,  $200.00;  G.  R.  Strauss,  $200.00;  F.  R. 
Baker,  $200.00;  Jud.  Bristol,  $200.00.'" 

The  new  association  was  incorporated  with  a  cap- 
ital of  $6,250,  the  debts  of  the  old  association  were 
paid  off  and  plans  laid  for  holding  a  county  fair 
in  September.  The  Industrial  Association  which 
conducted  the  county  fair  from  1879  was  not  suc- 
cessful. The  new  association,  reorganized  from  the 
old,  brought  together  men  who  were  known  as  men 
who  did  nothing  by  halves,  men  of  energy  and  enter- 
prise, men  of  influence,  men  of  wealth,  embracing 
some  of  the  most  substantial  citizens  of  the  county. 
These  men  went  to  work  with  a  will  and  made 
many  improvements  on  the  fair  grounds,  including 
the  erection  of  a  fine  arts  hall  and  several  additional 
stock  pens  and  stalls  for  horses,  and  placed  the 
speed  ring  in  first-class  condition.  The  officers  of 
the  new  association  were:  President,  F.  L.  Carter- 
Cotton  ;  Vice-President,  Abner  Loomis ;  Secretary, 
I.  W.  Bennett;  Treasurer,  W.  B.  Miner;  Direct- 
ors, John  Riddle,  F.  W.  Sherwood,  B.  F.  Hottel, 
M.  F.  Jones,  F.  L.  Carter-Cotton,  Abner  Loomis, 
I.  W.  Bennett  and  W.  B.  Miner. 

The  exposition  held  that  year  beginning  Sep- 
tember 25th  was  far  superior  in  every  respect  to  any 
of  its  predecessors.  The  entries  made  in  the  differ- 
ent departments  numbered  815,  the  number  in  each 
department  being  as  follows:  Farm  products,  167; 
fruit  and  flowers,  20;  dairy  and  poultry  products, 


186;  horses  and  mules,  77;  cattle,  62;  sheep  and 
hogs,  40 ;  poultry,  20 ;  fine  arts  and  manufactures, 
121 ;  miscellaneous,  123.  There  were  208  exhibitors 
and  the  premiums  paid  amounted  to  more  than 
$3,000.  The  attendance  during  the  four  days  was 
about  6,000.  Col.  John  M.  Chivington,  the  hero 
of  Sand  Creek,  delivered  the  address.  Hon.  Alva 
Adams,  democrat;  Hon.  B.  H.  Eaton,  republican, 
and  Hon.  John  E.  Washburn,  greenbacker,  all 
candidates  for  Governor  of  Colorado,  were  among 
the  distinguished  visitors  at  the  fair.  Harris  Strat- 
ton  won  the  $75  sweepstake  prize  offered  by  F.  L. 
Carter-Cotton  for  the  best  display  of  agricultural 
products. 

Under  the  auspices  of  the  reorganized  association, 
excellent  fairs  were  held  in  1885-6-7-8-9-90  and  91, 
an  increased  number  of  entries  being  made  each  suc- 
ceding  year,  with  a  corresponding  increase  in  the 
number  of  prizes  awarded,  and  in  the  cost  of  man- 
agement which  required  a  large  amount  of  money 
each  year  to  meet  expenses.  The  receipts,  theugh 
growing  in  amount  each  year,  were  insufficient  to 
pay  out,  and  the  stockholders  had  to  go  down  in 
their  pockets  to  make  up  the  deficency  or  resort  to 
borrowing.  They  got  tired  of  this  after  the  fair  of 
1891  and  decided  to  discontinue  the  holding  of 
annual  fairs,  until  such  time  as  the  population  of 
the  county  had  reached  a  figure  that  warranted 
the  necessary  outlay.  Then  the  pariic  of  1893  came 
on,  upsetting  the  financial  affairs  of  the  whole  coun- 
try, making  the  attempt  to  resuscitate  the  enterprise 
and  put  it  on  a  paying  basis  an  extremely  hazardous 
one  for  the  association  and  not  to  be  considered. 

On  December  14th,  1897,  the  association  sold 
the  fair  grounds  and  their  appurtenances  to  the 
county  for  a  poor  farm  and  county  hospital  pur- 
poses, to  which  uses  the  property  has  since  been 
applied.  The  deed  was  signed  by  Peter  Anderson, 
president,  and  T.  A.  Gage,  secretary  of  the  associa- 
tion. Since  1891  there  have  been  no  regular  county 
fairs  held  in  this  county.  Loveland  in  1892,  inaugu- 
rated a  system  of  street  fairs  to  take  the  place  of  a 
county  fair  and  these  have  been  quite  successful. 

In  the  spring  of  1904  the  Gentleman's  Riding 
and  Driving  Club  was  organized,  with  F.  W. 
Sherwood  as  president.  This  club  held  racing 
matinees  every  few  weeks  that  year  on  the  old  fair 
grounds  track  with  much  success.  In  July  the  club 
appointed  a  committee  composed  of  Peter  Ander- 
son, Abner  Loomis  and  C.  O.  Culver  to  examine 
and  report  lands  suitable  for  race  track  and  fair 
grounds,  which  were  being  offered  for  sale.  The 
club    purchased    45    acres    of    the    Scott-Sherwood 


[147] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


ranch,  located  about  one  mile  west  of  the  business 
center  of  the  city  for  $6,000,  and  began  at  once  to 
fit  the  track  up  for  a  speed  ring  and  fair  grounds. 
The  track  was  named  Prospect  Park  and  still  goes 
by  that  name.  The  Fort  Collins  Park  Amusement 
company  was  incorporated  to  take  over  the  property, 
the  directors  for  the  first  year  being  C.  K.  Gould, 
L.  R.  Rhodes,  A.  W.  Scott,  S.  H.  Clammer  and  E. 
D.  Avery. 

Improvement    of    the    grounds    and    the    fitting 
of  them  for  the  race  meet  began  at  once.     One  of 


of  $40,000,  the  proceeds  of  the  sale  of  which  to  be 
used  in  defraying  the  cost  of  erecting  a  court  house. 
The  bonds,  drawing  6  per  cent  interest,  were  sold 
in  April,  1887,  to  Rollin  H.  Bond  of  Denver,  and 
on  May  5,  1887,  the  county  commissioners 
awarded  the  contract  for  constructing  the  building 
to  Barney  Des  Jardines  of  Fort  Collins,  his  bid  of 
$39,379.96  being  the  lowest.  Mr.  Des  Jardines 
sublet  the  stone  work  to  Kemoe  &  Bradley,  the 
brick  work  to  John  G.  Lunn,  the  plastering  to  D, 
F.    O'Loughlin,    the    painting   to    Sm.ith    &    Soult, 


LARIMER  COUNTY'S  FIRST  COURT  HOUSE,   USED  AS   SUCH   FROM   1864   TO   1868 


the  best  race  tracks,  a  grand  stand,  judges'  stand, 
offices,  horse  stables  and  a  high  board  fence  around 
the  track  were  built.  The  first  race  meet  was  held 
October  6th,  7th  and  8th,  1904.  These  meets 
have  been  kept  up  every  year  since  then  with  a  fair 
measure  of  success.  One  or  two  attempts  have 
been  made  to  hold  an  agricultural,  live  stock  and 
industrial  exposition  in  connection  with  the  race 
meets,  but  for  some  reason  these  have  not  met  with 
popular  favor.  Prospect  Park  is  also  used  for  ball 
games  and  other  amusements  of  that  character. 

Larimer  County  Court  House 

In  November,  1886,  the  people  of  Larimer 
county,  by  a  large  majority,  voted  in  favor  of  issu- 
ing the  corporate  bonds  of  the  county  to  the  amount 

[148] 


doing  the  carpenter  and  joiner  work  himself.  The 
building  was  designed  by  William  Quayle  of  Den- 
ver. The  board  of  county  commissioners  was 
composed  of  William  P.  Bosworth,  chairman,  A.  S. 
Benson  and  Harry  H.  Scott,  and  James  E.  Du 
Bois  was  county  clerk.  The  corner  stone  of  the 
structure,  a  handsome  block  of  red  sandstone 
donated  to  the  county  by  the  Fort  Collins  Red- 
stone company,  was  laid  on  Thursday,  August 
11th,  1887,  with  appropriate  Masonic  ceremonies, 
conducted  by  representatives  of  the  Grand  Lodge 
of  Colorado.  These  representatives  were  Worship- 
ful Master,  E.  Love,  acting  Grand  Master;  James 
B.  Arthur,  acting  Deputy  Grand  Master;  F.  J. 
Annis,  acting  Grand  Senior  Warden;  John  W. 
Young,  acting  Grand  Junior  Warden;  William  C. 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


Stover,  acting  Grand  Treasurer;  S.  H.  Seckner, 
acting  Grand  Secretary;  Andrew  Armstrong, 
Grand  Chaplain.  A  double  quartette,  composed 
of  Mesdames  W.  T.  Rogers,  E.  S.  Cain,  J.  M. 
Davidson  and  George  W.  Bailey;  Rev.  D.  C. 
Pattee,  A.  D.  Abbott,  W.  H.  Headley  and  George 
A.  Webb,  with  Miss  Carrie  Armstrong  presiding  at 
the  organ,  rendered  music  on  this  occasion.  The 
address  was  delivered  by  Judge  Thomas  M.  Robin- 
son, which,  because  of  its  appropriate  reference  to 
pioneer  days  in  Larimer  county  and  conditions  then 
existing,  we  reproduce  here  in  full: — 

"Most  Worshipful  Grand  Master  and  Ladies 
and  Gentlemen : — 

"In  the  life  of  every  individual  there  are  times 
when,  by  force  of  circumstances,  his  mind  is  carried 
back  to  his  earliest  recollections  and  all  his  ex- 
periences pass  again  before  him.  This  is  no  vain  or 
idle  process  of  the  mind.  It  is  Nature's  method 
of  impressing  the  lesson  of  the  past,  to  be  treasured 
as  precious  precepts  for  guidance  in  future  life  and 
conduct.  At  such  times  the  past  stands  again  be- 
fore us  to  admonish  us  with  respect  to  the  future, 
warning  us  against  a  repetition  of  mistakes  which 
resulted  in  disappointment  and  disaster,  and  en- 
couraging with  rich  promises  all  who  will  be  guided 
by  its  instruction.  As  it  is  with  individuals,  so  it  is 
with  communities,  with  states,  with  nations. 
Some  public  occasion  arrests  the  public  attention, 
and  causes  the  public  mind  to  wander  back  over 
the  years  of  its  past  history.  This  is  such  an 
occasion. 

"Today  we  are  engaged  in  laying  the  cornerstone 
of  an  elegant  structure  dedicated  to  public  uses, 
and  our  mind  is  carried  back,  not  many  years,  when 
the  territory  comprised  in  this  county  was  com- 
posed of  sterile  mountains  and  barren  plains. 
Savages,  depending  on  the  chase  of  animals  as  fierce 
and  wild  as  themselves  for  subsistence,  stood  ready 
with  bloody  hands  and  welcomed  the  adventurous 
pioneer  to  destruction  and  to  death.  But  the  old- 
timers,  undaunted  by  danger  and  reckless  of  hard- 
ship, impelled  by  dissapointment  elsewhere  or  by 
the  life  of  adventure  here,  came,  and  came  to  stay. 
They  came  and  erected  homes  in  the  valleys  of  the 
Big  Thompson  and  Cache  la  Poudre,  that  stream 
whose  name  is  in  itself  a  perpetual  memorial  of  the 
vicissitudes  and  dangers  the  pioneer  had  to  en- 
counter. Looking  back  we  cannot  see  a  single  ray 
of  hope  to  encourage  them  to  settle  here,  sur- 
rounded, as  they  were,  by  barbarous  savages,  who, 
it  they  did  not  always  dare  to  kill,  never  hesitated 
to  steal. 


"Under  such  conditions,  surrounded  by  such  difE- 
culties,  the  foundations  of  your  present  prosperity 
were  laid,  and  the  green  fields  and  happy  homes  for 
which  these  valleys  are  noted  became  a  possibility; 
but  material  prosperity  was  not  alone  all  that  re- 
sulted from  the  work  of  the  old-timers.  Wherever 
they  went,  whether  riding  the  range  in  care  of  their 
stock  or  tilling  the  soil,  they  carried  with  them  that 
love  of  order  and  fair  dealing  which  is  the  prom- 
inent characteristic  of  our  people.  Before  municipal 
authority  was  established  or  provided,  they  had 
their  own  rules  and  regulations;  they  had  their  own 


LARIMER   COUNTY   COURT   HOUSE 

tribunals  and  respected  and  enforced  their  decisions. 
It  may  be  that  those  rules  and  principles  were  crude 
— that  they  did  not  possess  the  exactness  of  a  science 
or  the  fulness  of  a  system  of  jurisprudence,  yet  they 
were  conceived  in  fairness,  and  founded  upon  right, 
and  they  were  sufficient  for  the  needs  of  the  time, 
and  many  of  them  have  since  been  incorporated  in 
our  statutes  and  constitution  as  rich  contributions 
to  the  law. 

"The  old-timers  came  to  the  valleys  of  Larimer 
county  at  a  time  when  there  was  no  encourage- 
ment. They  settled  and  toiled  amid  dangers  and 
hardships  and  privations  to  lay  the  foundation  of 
our  present  civilization  and  prosperity,  and  when 
they  were  accomplished  it  was  protected  by  no 
higher  law  than  that  which  custom  gave  them — the 
right  to  protect  it  themselves.  It  is  true,  that  in 
many  things  they  had  their  faults,  but  they  also 
had  their  virtues.  It  is  true  they  transacted  business 
in  a  way  we  could  not  transact  it  now.  They  could 
try  a  case  on  horseback,  hold  an  arbitration  in  a 
corral,  or  lynch  court  wherever  they  could  find  a 
man  they  wanted  to  hang.    But  the  times  now  give 

[149] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


the  people  more  accommodations  than  were  required 
then.  It  is  the  fulfillment  of  the  requirements  of 
the  times  that  this  court  house  is  to  be  erected. 
The  necessity  for  such  a  building  is  now  urgent. 
In  times  past  it  was  not.  The  people  then  felt  the 
greater  need  of  school  houses  and  churches.  The 
first  public  buildings  erected  were  for  educational 
and  religious  purposes.  They  were  content  to 
waive  for  awhile  the  convenience  of  a  court  house 
that  more  important  matters  might  not  be  neg- 
lected. 

"But  the  times  have  changed.  Instead  of  the 
cheerless  waste  that  greeted  the  pioneer's  eye,  rich 
fields  of  waving  grain  and  kindred  evidence  of  pros- 
perity are  now  to  be  seen  on  every  hand.  The 
tepees  of  the  savage  have  disappeared  and  in  their 
stead  on  every  side  are  to  be  seen  the  beautiful 
homes  of  an  enlightened  and  prosperous  people. 
Cities  and  towns  have  sprung  up  and  thousands  of 
people  have  come  to  dwell  with  us.  This  change 
brought  with  it  a  vast  increase  of  business  and  com- 
merce and  has  produced  complications  which  require 
other  methods  for  their  adjustment  and  the  times 
can  afford  better  accommodations  than  those  re- 
quiredMn  the  early  days.  It  is  to  fulfill  the  require- 
ments of  these  times  that  we  erect  this  building, 
dedicated  to  Justice,  and  we  are  only  carrying  out 
a  part  of  the  work  left  to  us  by  those  who  wrought 
before  us.  It  is  for  us  to  complete  it.  It  is  our 
duty,  as  citizens,  to  see  not  only  that  this  building 
is  completed  according  to  its  original  design,  but 
to  see  that  the  purposes  for  which  it  was  erected 
are  never  perverted ;  to  see  to  it  that  the  officers  and 
all  who  are  called  upon  to  minister  to  the  public 
here,  are  capable,  competent  and  honest;  to  see  to  it 
that  they  are  men  who  understand  their  duty  and 
will  fearlessly  perform  it;  officers  whose  characters 
are  such  as  to  command  the  confidence  of  all  who 
are  wronged  and  oppressed,  and  to  inspire  terror 
among  wrong-doers  and  oppressors ;  to  see  to  it  that 
the  judges  who  are  called  to  preside  here  are  men 
whose  judgment  can  be  influenced  by  nothing  save 
the  law  and  the  testimony.  If  we  do  this  and  do  it 
faithfully  and  earnestly,  the  building  will  be  con- 
secrated in  public  esteem  as  a  place  where  innocence 
and  right  are  always  secure;  where  the  ends  of 
justice  are  always  accomplished,  in  very  truth,  a 
Temple  of  Justice. 

"If  we  engage  our  five  talents  to  promote  the 
ends  of  education  and  religion,  with  the  zeal  and 
fidelity  with  which  the  old-timers  engaged  their 
two  talents — if  we  labor  to  promote  the  general 
welfare  and  material  prosperity  of  the  county  as  the 


old-timers  labored  to  promote  it — the  next  genera- 
tion when  called  by  some  public  occasion  to  look 
back  upon  what  is  accomplished,  will  acknowledge 
itself  to  be  under  a  debt  of  gratitude  to  us,  such  a 
debt  of  gratitude  as  we  are  under  to  the  old-timers." 

Larimer  County  Stock  Growers' 
Association 

The  Larimer  County  Stock  Grower's  associa- 
tion was  organized  August  20th,  1884,  at  Liver- 
more.  It  grew  out  of  the  necessity  for  a  different 
and  more  efficient  kind  of  watch  and  guard  over 
live  stock  than  that  observed  on  the  Plains,  the 
range  being  entirely  in  a  mountainous  country. 
There  were  represented  by  the  association  2,500 
head  of  horses  and  15,000  head  of  cattle,  which 
ranged  on  an  area  of  1,000  square  miles.  The  offi- 
cers were:  President,  T.  A.  Gage;  Vice-President, 
Frank  Kibler;  Secretary  and  Treasurer,  S.  B. 
Chaffee.  The  Executive  Committee  was  composed 
of  the  officers  of  the  association  and  the  following 
stockmen :  J.  H.  Bristol,  F.  L.  Carter-Cotton, 
F.  J.  Spencer,  C.  E.  Roberts,  Russell  Fisk,  A.  H. 
Morgan,  John  S.  Williams,  A.  W.  Haygood,  Fred 
Christman,  T.  B.  Bishopp  and  C.  N.  Campbell.  It 
included  in  its  membership  nearly  all  the  stock- 
men of  Livermore,  Alford,  Bush,  Tie  Siding,  Box- 
elder,  Bristol,  Virginia  Dale,  Laporte,  St.  Cloud, 
Granite  Canon,  Wyoming,  Elkhorn  and  stockmen 
from  Berthoud,  Cheyenne,  Denver  and  Loveland 
who  ranged  live  stock  in  the  mountains  of  Larimer 
county.  For  several  years  the  association  proved 
a  very  useful  organization  in  facilitating  the  annual 
branding  and  beef  round-ups  of  cattle  and  in  hunt- 
ing down  and  prosecuting  horse  and  cattle  thieves. 
As  the  county  grew  older  and  more  thickly  settled, 
followed  by  a  thinning  out  of  range  stock,  the 
necessity  for  keeping  up  the  organization  practically 
disappeared  and  it  was  allowed  to  die  from  lack  of 
interest. 

Industries  of  Larimer  County 

The  principal  industries  of  Larimer  county 
at  the  present  time  are  diversified  agriculture,  in- 
cluding dairying,  fruit-growing,  market  gardening 
and  stock-feeding,  stock-raising,  manufacturing, 
mining,  lumbering  and  stone  quarrying.  Between 
the  years  of  1873  and  1885,  sheep  raising  and  wool 
growing  held  an  important  place  in  the  list  of  pro- 
fitable industries  in  the  county,  there  being  in  1880 
about  75,000  sheep   feeding  on  the  ranges  within 


[150] 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER        COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


its  confines.  The  encroachment  of  new  settlers 
who  took  up  the  land  for  farming  purposes,  so 
lessened  the  grazing  grounds  that  flock-masters  were 
compelled  to  move  into  Wyoming  and  Montana  to 
find  pasture  for  their  flocks,  so  that  but  a  few  range 
sheep,  comparatively  speaking,  are  now  kept  in  the 
county.  In  the  early  days  of  the  industry  flock- 
masters  were  greatly  prospered  and  the  most  of 
them  made  money.  Their  grazing  grounds  cost 
them  nothing,  so  after  deducting  the  wages  of  herd- 
ers, the  amount  received  for  the  wool  clip  was 
almost  clear  gain.  In  1880  one  firm  alone  shipped 
more  than  100,000  pounds  of  wool  from  the 
county. 

In  the  list  of  present  day  industries,  agriculture 
stock-raising  and  stock- feeding  easily  take  the  lead, 
as  Larimer  county  is  essentially  a  farming  district. 
The  value  of  the  yearly  products  of  the  farm  and 
range  exceed  $3,000,000,  and  the  amount  invested 
in  farm  property  is  estimated  at  $25,000,000;^  In 
1909  the  estimated  value  of  domestic  animals  owned 
in  the  county  was  about  $2,000,000.  These  in- 
cluded 9,948  horses,  516  mules,  18,965  cattle,  all 
ages,  5,656  sheep,  1,726  swine  and  159  other 
animals.  The  character  and  value  of  the  products 
of  the  farm  for  1909  are  given  elsewhere  in  this 
volume.  The  feeding  and  fattening  of  cattle  and 
sheep  for  market  has  also  grown  to  an  import- 
ant industry.  But  a  few  years  ago  stock  feed- 
ing pens  of  the  county  contained  400,000  sheep  and 
lambs  and  about  10,000  head  of  cattle.  The  feed- 
ing pens  are  filled  in  the  fall  and  the  animals  fed 
through  the  winter  all  the  alfalfa  they  will  eat,  in 
addition  to  a  ration  of  corn  or  ground  coarse  grain 
and  beet  pulp.  On  this  food  they  rapidly  take  on 
flesh  and  are  marketed  at  the  packing  centers  in  the 
East  or  in  Denver.  This  business,  one  year  with 
another,  yields  the  feeder  a  good  profit  on  his  in- 
vestment, besides  making  a  home  market  for  his 
surplus  hay  and  other  rough  forage.  The  animals 
are  kept  in  open  pens,  and  require  no  shelter  or 
protection  from  storms  or  cold  during  the  winter, 
owing  to  favorable  climatic  conditions. 

Next  in  importance  to  agriculture  and  stock- 
raising  comes  manufacturing.  From  small  begin- 
nings this  industry  has  become  worthy  of  notice  as 
a  factor  in  the  growth  and  development  of  the 
material  prosperity  of  the  county.  Until  the  ad- 
vent of  the  beet  sugar  making  industry  in  1901-3, 
manufacturing  was  mainly  limited  to  the  conversion 
of  the  wheat  and  coarse  grains  grown  in  the  county 
into  flour  and  ground  stock  food.  For  this  purpose 
there  were  and  still  are   four  mills,   two   in   Fort 


Collins  and  one  each  in  Loveland  and  Berthoud. 
These  mills  buy  all  the  wheat  grown  in  the  county, 
thus  providing  the  producers  near-by  markets  for 
their  grain,  and  can  turn  out  500,000  one  hundred 
pound  sacks  of  flour  per  annum.  They  also  con- 
vert thousands  of  tons  of  course  grains,  like  corn, 
oats  and  barley  into  ground  stock  food,  each  year, 
for  the  feeders.  Besides  supplying  the  home  demand 
for  flour,  the  mills  annually  ship  hundreds  of  car 
loads  into  New  Mexico,  Arizona,  Wyoming,  Texas 
and  some  going  as  far  south  as  Georgia.  In  addi- 
tion to  the  flour  mills  there  were  several  busy  saw 


FORT  COLLIxNS  SUGAR  FACTORY,   BUILT  IN   1903 

mills  in  the  mountains  at  work  converting  pine  logs 
into  boards  and  building  timbers  for  the  use  of 
settlers  in  erecting  their  unpretentious  homes.  This 
industry  engaged  the  attention  of  some  of  the 
pioneers  in  the  early  history  of  the  county.  The 
first  saw-mill,  a  portable  one,  brought  into  the 
county  was  located  on  the  bank  of  the  river  near 
where  William  Falloon  now  lives  northwest  of 
Laporte.  This  mill  was  owned  by  James  Oben- 
chain  and  he  began  manufacturing  lumber  in  1863 
or  1864.  The  logs  were  cut  in  the  canon  of  the 
Cache  la  Poudre  in  the  winter  and  floated  down  to 
the  mill  during  the  spring  floods.  Later  Joseph 
Rist  set  up  a  mill  in  Rist  canon  where  he  cut  out 
many  hundred  thousand  feet  of  lumber,  much  of 
which  was  hauled  to  Cheyenne  and  marketed.  Chey- 
enne was  a  booming  town  at  that  time  and  was  a 
good  market  for  building  material  of  all  kinds. 
Along  in  the  70's  the  lumber  industry  became  quite 
important  and  furnished  employment  to  a  large  num- 
ber of  men  and  teams.  Logging  crews  were  sent 
into  the  mountains  in  the  fall  and  the  logs  were  cut 
and  banked  at  the  river's  edge  ready  to  be  rolled 
into  the  water  when  the  floods  swelled  the  stream 
and  then  floated  down  to  the  two  mills  at  Greeley 

[151] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


and  the  mill  in  Fort  Collins  which  stood  near  to 
where  the  Linden  street  bridge  now  stands,  and 
there  sawed  into  lumber.  The  demand  for  lumber 
increased  rapidly  during  the  twenty  years  follow- 
ing 1880  and  several  portable  mills  were  set  up  at 
different  points  in  the  mountains  wherever  there 
was  timber  suitable  for  sawing,  and  millions  of  feet 
of  native  lumber  was  cut  and  marketed  in  the  valley 
towns  during  that  period.  When  the  timber  in  the 
vicinity  of  a  mill  became  exhausted  the  mills  would 
be  moved  to  a  new  site  where  timber  was  plenti- 
ful and  more  accessible.  But  the  mill  men  were 
poaching  on  government  land  and  taking  timber 
that  belonged  to  the  public.  This  came  to  the  ears 
of  federal  officials  after  a  while  and  they  put  a  stop 
to  the  wholesale  cutting  of  logs  on  the  public  lands. 
Since  then  and  particularly  since  the  establishment 
of  the  Colorado  Forest  reserve,  the  lumbermen 
have  been  required  to  buy  the  timber  of  the  govern- 
ment and  also  restricted  to  cutting  matured  trees 
that  have  been  marked  for  lumber  by  the  forest 
officers.  This  policy  has  served  to  reduce  the  num- 
ber of  mills  in  operation  and  to  limit  the  quantity 
of  lumber  manufactured,  but  the  annual  cut  still 
amounts  to  considerable,  all  of  which  is  marketed 
in  the  county,  none  of  it  being  shipped  to  outside 
points.  The  introduction  of  sugar  making  was 
followed  by  the  establishment  of  other  manufactur- 
ing enterprises  which  are  furnishing  markets  for 
raw  material  and  giving  employment  to  labor.  The 
total  amount  invested  in  the  county  at  this  time  in 
manufacturing  enterprises  exceeds  $3,500,000  and 
the  value  of  the  annual  product  to  about  $6,000,000. 

A  list  of  the  more  important  manufacturing 
establishments  in  the  county  would  include : 

Two  immense  sugar  factories. 

Two  large  pressed  brick-making  plants. 

Two  large  stucco  and  plaster  mills. 

Four  large  flouring  mills. 

A  fruit  and  vegetable  canning  factory. 

One  cement  tile  factory. 

One  large  foundry  and  machine  shop  and  several 
small  ones. 

An  alfalfa  meal  mill  factory. 

Two  planing  mills  and  door  factories. 

Several  cigar  factories. 

Larimer  county  contains  an  inexhaustable  supply 
of  the  very  best  building,  paving  and  curbing  stone 
and  flagging  for  sidewalks,  including  white,  gray 
and  red  sand  stone,  granite  and  mottled  marble. 
The  quarries  are  located  at  Bellvue,  Stout  and 
Arkins  and  at  one  time  between  1882  and  1890 
more    than   one    thousand   men   were   employed    in 

[152] 


them  getting  out  building  stone,  paving  blocks, 
curbings  and  flaggings  and  many  of  the  finest  build- 
ings in  Denver,  Omaha  and  Kansas  City,  were 
constructed  of  white,  gray  and  red  sand  stone  taken 
from  these  quarries.  The  Union  Pacific  Railroad 
company  built  a  spur  in  1882  from  Fort  Collins  to 
Stout,  a  distance  of  fourteen  miles,  over  which 
thousands  of  carloads  of  stone  have  been  shipped  to 
Denver,  Omaha,  Cheyenne,  Greeley  and  Fort 
Collins.  The  railroad  company  constructed  a 
branch  line  from  Loveland  to  the  quarries  at  Arkins, 
which  has  been  in  operation  for  more  than  twenty 
years  and  over  which  immense  quantities  of  building 
and  paving  stone  have  been  shipped.  These  quar- 
ries are  still  being  worked  and  a  large  force  of  men 
is  constantly  employed  in  them.  The  Stout  and 
Bellvue  quarries  have  been  lying  practically  dormant 
the  past  few  years  and  about  two  years  ago  the 
railroad  track  from  Stout  to  Bellvue  was  taken  up. 
The  Union  Pacific  Railroad  company  owned  and 
operated  the  quarries  at  Stout  for  several  years. 
There  are  still  a  number  of  private  quarries  near 
Stout  that  are  being  worked  to  a  greater  or  less 
extent  by  their  owners,  but  the  product  is  now 
hauled  by  teams  to  Fort  Collins. 

Excellent  granite  ledges  exist  in  the  hills  west 
of  Loveland,  from  which  large  quantities  of  beauti- 
ful granite  have  been  quarried  and  shipped  to  Den- 
ver. In  the  hills  northwest  of  Fort  Collins  are 
immense  beds  of  mottled  marble,  but  these  have 
never  been  opened  and  worked  to  any  extent.  No 
doubt  the  time  will  come  when  this  marble  will  be 
in  demand  for  building  and  furniture-making 
purposes.  At  Ingleside,  sixteen  miles  northwest 
of  Fort  Collins,  immense  lime  stone  quarries  were 
opened  in  1904  and  these  are  furnishing  employ- 
ment the  year  around  to  a  great  many  men.  Lime 
is  used  to  quite  an  extent  in  the  manufacture  of 
beet  sugar  and  the  supply  of  lime  stone  for  several 
of  the  sugar  factories  in  the  Northern  part  of  Colo- 
rado comes  from  these  quarries.  Some  idea  of  the 
importance  of  this  industry  may  be  gathered  from 
the  statement  that  the  Fort  Collins  sugar  factory 
alone  uses  between  6,000  and  7,000  tons  of  lime 
stone  every  year.  The  stone  is  reduced  to  lime  at  the 
factory  in  large  kilns  especially  constructed  for  that 
purpose. 

Tens  of  thousands  of  dollars  in  money  and  many 
years  of  time  have  been  expended  in  prospecting  the 
hills  of  Larimer  county  for  the  precious  metals,  but 
up  to  this  time  the  returns  in  dollars  and  cents  bear 
no  comparison  to  the  cost.  They  have  been  ex- 
ceedingly meagre.      Gold,   silver,   copper,   zinc  and 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


lead  have  been  found  in  sufficient  quantities  to 
justify  the  keeping  up  of  the  search,  but  never  in 
large  enough  bodies  to  justify  systematic  and 
scientific  mining.  Almost  every  foot  of  the  mount- 
ain region  from  the  southern  to  the  northern  bound- 
aries of  the  county,  and  from  the  foothills  to  the 
summit  of  the  Medicine  Bow  range  has  been  pros- 
pected, but  not  a  single  profit  producing  mine  has 
ever  been  opened  and  worked.  It  is  probable  that 
the  Spaniards  who  set  out  from  Santa  Fe  in  1720 
and  explored  the  country  from  their  starting  point 
to  the  Yellowstone  in  search  of  gold,  prospected  the 
streams  of  Larimer  county  for  the  yellow  metal, 
but  they  never  returned  to  report  the  result.  They 
fell  victims  to  the  murderous  instincts  of  the  savages 
upon  whose  domain  they  were  trespassing.  Later, 
in  1858,  a  part  of  Green  Russell's  band  of  gold 
hunters  came  north  from  Cherry  creek  to  Box- 
elder  looking  for  gold,  but  their  quest  proved  un- 
fruitful. Since  that  time  not  a  year  has  passed  that 
some  kind  of  a  mining  excitement  has  not  been  de- 
veloped at  some  point  in  the  mountains.  The  years 
1863-4-5  and  6  were  prolific  in  the  number  of 
mineral  discoveries.  Mining  companies  were  or- 
ganized, claims  filed  upon  and  mining  districts  es- 
tablished with  a  full  list  of  officials,  and  some 
desultory  mining  done,  but  it  amounted  to  nothing. 
Float  copper  was  discovered  in  1865  in  Howe 
gulch  eight  miles  west  of  Fort  Collins,  by  a  soldier. 
Considerable  work  was  done  on  this  claim  and  then 
it  was  abandoned.  The  claim  remained  untouched 
for  several  years  when  it  was  relocated  by  W.  C. 
Dilts  and  given  the  name  of  the  "Empire''  copper 
lode,  which,  being  patented,  it  still  bears.  Dilts 
sold  the  claim  to  the  Boston  &  Colorado  Copper 
Mining  company  in  the  late  90's  for  $10,000.  The 
company  expended  a  large  sum  of  money  in  develop- 
ment work,  including  the  building  of  a  large  shaft 
house  and  installing  some  $8,000  worth  of  mining 
m.achinery.  An  85-foot  shaft  was  sunk  on  the 
claim,  from  the  bottom  of  which  a  cross-cut  was 
driven  to  intersect  the  vein.  A  few  carloads  of  the 
ore  was  sent  to  Denver  smelters  for  treatment  but 
the  returns  were  of  such  a  discouraging  nature  that 
the  enterprise  was  abandoned.  The  mine  contains 
copper  but  not  in  paying  quantities. 

In  1883  mineral  was  discovered  at  Crystal 
mountain  and  a  number  of  locations  were  made 
and  considerable  assessment  work  done  before  a  test 
of  this  ore  was  made.  It  was  then  learned  that  the 
ore  carried  zinc  in  small  quantities  and  the  camp 
was  abandoned.  Copper  lodes  were  later  dis- 
covered in  Virginia  Dale,  at  Gray  Rock,  St.  Cloud 


and  much  money  was  expended  in  doing  assessment 
and  development  work,  but  the  locaters  got  cold 
feet  after  a  while  and  gave  up  the  search. 

In  1886  an  organization  composed  of  a  large 
number  of  prominent  citizens  of  Fort  Collins  was 
formed  for  the  purpose  of  conducting  a  systematic 
search  for  the  precious  metals  in  the  hills  of  the 
county.  Three  experienced  miners  and  prospectors 
were  employed  and  put  into  the  field.  In  Septem- 
ber of  that  year  these  men  reported  gold  discoveries 
on  the  divide  between  Seven  Mile  and  Elkhorn 
creeks  and  a  rush  was  made  to  secure  locations  of 
mineral  claims  in  the  district.  The  .surface  indi- 
cations were  excellent,  pronounced  by  expert 
miners  to  be  equal  to  the  best  ever  found.  Gold 
could  be  panned  from  almost  any  piece  of  crushed 
rock  and  the  excitement  reached  fever  heat.  A 
town  was  started  and  given  the  name  of  Manhattan 
with  its  hotel,  stores,  postoffice  and  newspaper. 
Digging  for  gold  was  vigorously  prosecuted  all 
that  fall  and  the  succeeding  winter  and  for  several 
years  afterwards.  The  country  for  miles  around 
was  honey-combed  with  prospect  holes  and  incipient 
mines  and  in  many  instances  good  returns  were 
received  from  assay  tests  of  the  ore.  Some  of  the 
ores  tested  as  high  as  $600  to  the  ton.  Interest  in 
the  camp  continued  for  several  years  and  then 
practically  died  out  although  some  of  the  claims 
are  yet  being  worked  through  shafts  and  tunnels.  It 
is  the  general  belief  that  the  gold  is  there,  but  that 
it  lies  deeper  than  any  of  the  shafts  have  so  far 
been  sunk.  In  1888  business  men  of  Fort  Collins 
contributed  a  large  sum  of  money  towards  the 
cost  of  erecting  concentrating  works.  The  mill, 
a  small  affair,  was  built  on  Seven  Mile  creek,  but 
either  through  faulty  construction  or  bad  manage- 
ment, it  failed  to  meet  expectations  and  was  at 
last  shut  down  and  the  machinery  moved  away. 
Fresh  interest  in  the  Manhattan  district  has  been 
created  the  present  year  by  the  discovery  of  new 
mineral  leads,  which  give  promise  of  results  in  re- 
storing the  old  time  popularity  of  the  camp.  Gold 
finds  were  also  made  in  1887-8  in  the  canon  of  the 
Cache  la  Poudre  above  Rustic,  and  the  prospects  of 
a  flourishing  mining  camp  appeared  so  good  that 
the  Zimmerman  Brothers  erected  a  five  stamp  mill 
and  reduction  works  on  the  river  bank  about  three 
miles  above  Rustic.  This  was  put  in  operation 
and  a  large  quantity  of  ore  was  crushed  and  re- 
duced to  retorts.  These  were  sent  to  St.  Louis  to 
be  refined  but  the  returns  were  so  poor  that  the 
mill  fell  into  disuse.  Mr.  John  Zimmerman,  how- 
ever, claims  to  this  day  that  he  was  swindled  by  the 

[153] 


HISTORY    OF    LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


refiners  and  that  the  retorts  were  rich  in  gold. 
Work  is  being  done  this  year  on  several  gold  claims 
situated  in  the  vicinity  of  the  old  mill,  or  Poudre 
City  as  it  was  called  in  its  palmy  days.  The  Man- 
hattan district  lies  45  miles  west  of  Fort  Collins. 

A  copper  vein  was  opened  on  Prairie  Divide 
several  years  ago  and  good  results  were  obtained 
from  a  quantity  of  the  ore  sent  to  the  Denver 
smelters,  but  the  vein  pinched  out  shortly  after- 
wards and  the  Copper  Bug  laid  idle  until  early  in 


tricts  has  been  demonstrated  time  and  time  again 
beyond  peradventure,  but  the  veins  lie  far  below  the 
surface,  and  it  will  cost  a  great  deal  of  money  to 
uncover  them.  Deep  mining  is  expensive  and  so 
far  prospectors  and  claim  owners  have  been  unable 
to  interest  capital  in  their  discoveries.  Thus  far 
capital  has  found  greater  attractions  in  other  parts 
of  the  state,  but  the  time  will  come  when  monied 
men  will  begin  looking  for  mining  investments  in 
Larimer  county,  for  the  minerals  are  here. 


MANHATTAN  GOLD   CAMP   IN   18 


1910  when  further  work  done  on  it  resulted  in 
opening  up  a  large  body  of  ore  that  is  proving  to  be 
rich  in  zinc.  It  is  understood  that  preparations  are 
being  made  to  install  mining  machinery  at  the 
Copper  Bug  for  the  purpose  of  developing  the  mine 
and  taking  out  shipping  ore.  There  is  said  to  be  a 
large  body  of  high  per  cent  zinc  ore  in  the  Copper 
Bug  and  that  it  can  be  gotten  out  and  refined  and 
leave  a  good  profit  for  the  owners. 

No  doubt  the  time  will  come  when  mining  for  the 
precious  metals  will  be  an  important  and  profitable 
industry  in  Larimer  county,  for  that  gold,  silver, 
copper,  zinc  and  lead  exists  in  the  mountain  dis- 


The  northern  part  of  the  county  is  underlaid 
with  coal  and  coal  mining  in  a  desultory  manner  by 
crude  methods  has  been  carried  on  for  more  than 
forty  years.  The  measures  lie  close  to  the  surface 
and  the  coal  taken  out  of  them  so  far  does  not 
possess  sufficient  specific  gravity  to  entitle  it  to 
rank  with  the  best  coal  taken  out  further  south.  It 
burns  well  but  does  not  throw  off  the  heat  that 
comes  from  the  best  lignite  coal  of  the  Boulder 
county  fields.  In  1868  and  1869  Cheyenne  de- 
pended almost  entirely  upon  the  coal  beds  of  North- 
ern Larimer  county  for  fuel  and  the  farmers  in 
that   part   of   the   county   use   it   now   almost   ex- 


El  54] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


clusively.  It  is  easily  and  cheaply  mined  and  costs 
the  consumers  less  to  have  it  hauled  to  their  homes 
than  from  Fort  Collins.  A  few  years  ago  during  a 
labor  strike  in  the  Boulder  mines,  thousands  of  tons 
were  hauled  to  Fort  Collins  by  teams  from  the 
Indian  Springs  and  Barton  coal  mines,  a  distance 
of  twenty  miles  and  consumers  found  it  to  answer 
a  good  purpose.  In  the  belief  that  measures  carry- 
ing a  better  quality  of  coal  will  be  found  by  going 
down  to  a  greater  depth,  drills  have  been  set  at 
work  to  find  out  if  the  belief  is  warranted.  If  the 
operators  succeed  in  finding  measures  of  good  steam 
coal  within  three  or  four  hundred  feet,  that  are 
thick  enough  to. warrant  the  cost  of  mining  it,  a  new 
and  very  important  industry  will  be  opened  up — one 
that  will  add  a  great  deal  to  the  prosperity  of  the 
people.  The  Cheyenne-Wellington  extension  of 
the  Colorado  &  Southern  railroad  crosses  these 
coal  fields  so  that  transportation  facilities  will  be 
afforded  the  operators  of  these  mines,  should  they 
prove  to  be  as  good  as  it  is  believed  they  will. 

Larimer  County's  Volcanoes 

Larimer  county  prides  itself  upon  having  some 
as  interesting  examples  of  ancient  volcanic  dis- 
turbances as  can  be  found  in  the  entire  Rocky 
Mountain  region.  These  are  found  in  the  vicinity 
of  Cameron  Pass,  about  75  miles  west  of  Fort 
Collins.  Cameron  Pass  divides  the  Medicine  Bow 
mountains  on  the  north  from  the  main  continental 
range  on  the  south.  The  apex  of  the  pass  is  about 
10,000  feet  above  sea  level.  It  is  flanked  on  either 
side  by  high  ridges  and  lofty  peaks  that  rise  in 
altitude  from  13,000  to  14,000  feet.  The  more 
marked  evidences  of  volcanic  action  ar^  near  Lake 
Zimmerman  on  the  east  side  of  the  pass,  some  ten 
miles  southeast  of  Chamber's  Lake.  They  form 
what  are  known  as  the  "The  Craters,"  and  are 
found  at  the  northern  extremity  of  a  long  ridge  some 
2,000  feet  above  the  floor  of  the  pass.  The  top  of 
the  ridge  is  in  the  shape  of  a  mesa  or  large  grassy 
plateau.  "The  Craters"  are  in  the  form  of  two 
deep  rocky  basins  divided  from  each  other  by  a  thin 
knife-like  ridge.  The  northwestern  walls  of  "The 
Craters"  overlook  Cameron  Pass,  and  are  in  the 
form  of  a  serrated  ridge  of  chimney-like  rocks.  The 
rocks,  columns  and  boulders  are  of  flint-like  hard- 
ness and  are  very  finely  checked,  as  if  at  some  time 
they  had  been  exposed  to  intense  heat.  The 
craters  are  the  scene  of  absolute  barreness '  and 
desolation.  So  impervious  seems  the  surrounding 
rock  that  all  the  action  of  the  elements  for  thou- 


sands of  years  past  has  failed  to  make  the  least  im- 
pression upon  them,  so  that  the  interstices  are 
devoid  of  any  solid  deposits.  Consequently  even 
the  hardiest  plant  has  found  no  foothold  among 
them.  In  the  beds  of  these  craters  deep  snow  banks 
are  found  which  have  evidently  been  forming  since 
the  volcanoes  cooled  off,  thousands  of  years  ago, 
and  quit  belching  their  streams  of  fire  and  mud 
and  clouds  of  steam. 

About  a  mile  below  the  craters  lies  Lake  Zim- 
merman. This  body  of  water  is  about  a  half  mile 
in  diameter,  and  whose  ultimate  depths  have  never 
been  fathomed.  The  waters  of  the  lake  are  cold 
and  clear,  being  constantly  fed  from  the  numerous 
springs  and  snow-banks  above.  It  is  thought  by 
scientists  that  the  bed  of  Lake  Zimmerman  was 
at  one  time  the  scene  of  some  ancient  volcanic 
eruption.  A  few  miles  southwest  of  Lake  Zim- 
merman is  -Lake  Agnes,  named  in  honor  of  Mr. 
John  Zimmerman's  youngest  daughter.  Miss  Agnes 
Zimmerman.  This  is  another  fathomless  pool  em- 
bosomed between  lofty  mountain  peaks.  Lake 
Agnes  is  about  two  miles  long  and  a  mile  wide. 
From  its  western  and  southwestern  shores  rise 
abruptly  Finger  or  Sawtooth  mountain  and  Mount 
Richthoven,  the  latter  more  than  14,000  feet  high. 
Almost  in  the  center  of  Lake  Agnes  rises  a  shaft- 
like point  of  rock  on  the  summit  of  which  a  few 
evergreens  find  lodgment.  Richthoven  rises  3,000 
feet  above  the  surface  of  the  lake  and  may  be 
ascended  by  a  hard  climb  from  the  lake's  southern 
extremity.  The  bed  of  Lake  Agnes .  is  clearly  the 
crater  of  an  ancient  volcano.  Its  sides  are  exceed- 
ingly steep  and  the  lake  evidently  has  great  depth. 
The  overshadowing  mountains  are  of  almost  solid 
granite,  but  nevertheless,  are  crumbling  and  the 
broken  fragments  are  gradually  filling  the  lak£. 

To  the  southwest  of  Lake  Agnes  rises  a  third  cliff 
some  2,000  feet  above  the  surface.  The  face  of  this 
clifE  is  seamed,  and  through  one  of  the  clefts  falls  a 
cascade.  John  Zimmerman,  proprietor  of  the  Key- 
stone hotel,  at  Home,  after  whom  Lake  Zimmer- 
man is  named,  and  who  spent  several  years  in  a 
cabin  at  Cameron  Pass,  and  who  has  explored  and 
known  these  regions  since  1880,  maintains  that  this 
mountain  is  actually  growing.  He  says  that  he 
not  only  knows  from  careful  observation  that  the 
mountain  is  now  higher  than  it  was  when  he  first 
beheld  it,  but  that  he  knows  there  is  a  perceptible 
motion  to  its  surface  and  certain  portions  of  its 
interior.  Always  when  climbing  the  cliff  or  travers- 
ing its  summit  he  is  conscious  of  its  subtile  yet  per- 
ceptible stir.     There  are  slight  sounds  from  within 

[155] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


the  cracks  and  caverns  and  a  constant  falling  of 
loose  rock.  He  attributes  these  characteristics  to 
volcanic  action  beneath  the  mountain.  If  this  be 
true,  the  child  now  living  in  Larimer  county  may 
be  priviledged  to  witness  the  bursting  of  this  moun- 
tain into  a  flame  of  fire  and  the  pouring  down  its 
sides  of  streams  of  moulten  lava.  The  pent  up  fires 
beneath  this  mountain  may  sometime  within  the 
lives  of  the  school  children  burst  into  flames  and 
throw  from  its  interior  mud,  ashes  and  steam.  Mr. 
Zimmerman  also  tells  of  a  moving  cave  in  the  cliffs 


water  for  irrigation  purposes  from  the  Laramie  river 
across  a  high  divide  and  pouring  it  into  Chambers 
lake,  was  written  by  H.  A.  Crafts  and  first  appeared 
in  the  Scientific  American,  October  14,  1899. 
It  contains  so  much  of  historical  value  and  is  such 
an  accurate  description  of  a  stupendous  piece  of 
work  that  I  deem  it  worth  preserving: 

"The  Water  Supply  and  Storage  company,  of 
Foft  Collins,  Colorado,  upon  the  completion  of 
the  Larimer  County  ditch,  found  its  water  supply  to 
be  deficient.     The  ditch  was  taken  from  the  north 


LAKE  ZIMMERMAN— ALTITUDE   11,000  FEET 


in  the  neighborhood  of  the  craters  near  Lake  Zim- 
merman. He  discovered  this  cave  in  1884,  and  vis- 
iting it  a  dozen  years  afterwards  found  that  it  had 
moved  about  fifty  feet  to  the  south  and  its  interior 
had  undergone  a  great  change.  This  gives  increased 
faith  in  the  real  volcanic  nature  of  the  region. 

Building  of  the  Laramie  River 
Feeder  Ditch 

The  following  article,  describing  the  obstacles 
and  difficulties  encountered  and  overcome  by  the 
Water    Supply    &    Storage    company    in    bringing 

[156] 


side  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river,  near  the  foot- 
hills of  the  Rocky  Mountain  range,  and  leads 
through  the  eastern  part  of  Larimer  county  and 
into  Weld  county.  Its  length  is  about  seventy 
miles.  It  is  thirty  feet  wide  at  the  top  and  twenty 
feet  wide  at  the  bottom,  and  it  has  a  carrying  capac- 
ity of  660  cubic  feet  of  water  per  second.  Under 
it  there  are  some  20,000  acres  of  land  susceptible 
of  irrigation.  Owing  to  the  amount  of  water  taken 
from  Cache  la  Poudre  by  prior  appropriations, 
there  was  not  enough  left  to  enable  the  company  to 
carry  out  its  original  designs.     Storage  reservoirs 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


in  connection  with  the  ditch  were  constructed  on 
the  Plains,  having  a  capacity  of  six  hundred  million 
cubic  feet  of  water.  These  were  filled  at  such 
times  as  there  was  water  to  spare  from  the  river, 
but  even  with  the  water  thus  held  in  reserve  there 
was  not  enough  to  supply  the  deficiency.  It 
needed  not  only  an  additional  supply  for  the 
ditch  during  the  irrigating  season,  but  for 
the  proper  filling  of  the  storage  reservoirs. 

"To  secure  more  water  from  the  Cache 
la  Poudre  river  was  out  of  the  question,  nor 
were  there  other  streams  having  still  un- 
appropriated water  at  convenient  distances 
and  tending  in  the  same  direction. 

"At  the  head  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  in 
the  higher  altitudes  of  the  Rocky  Moun- 
tains and  some  sixty  miles  above  the  head- 
gates  of  the  Larimer  County  ditch,  was 
Chambers  Lake.  This  had  been  formed 
by-  a  deep  depression,  and  covered  at  low 
water  135  acres,  and  at  high  water  212 
acres.  The  ditch  company  incorporated 
Chamber's  Lake  as  a  reservoir  and  con- 
structed across  its  outlet  an  immense  earth- 
work dam,  which  raised  the  lake  and  gave 
the  company  one  hundred  and  thirty  million 
cubic  feet  of  water  to  draw  upon  as  they 
found  it  necessary.  But  one  day,  June  8th, 
1891,  when  the  reservoir  was  full,  there 
came  a  cloudburst  above  it,  and  the  rush  of 
the  water  into  it,  coupled  with  a  supposed 
weakness  of  the  dam  at  the  wasteway,  burst 
the  dam,  and  an  immense  body  of  water 
was  let  loose  and  poured  down  the  canon 
and  into  the  valley  below,  causing  great 
damage  and  entailing  much  vexatious  litiga- 
tion. The  loss  was  so. great  that  the  com- 
pany was  slow  to  reconstruct  its  dam,  and 
other  sources  of  water  supply  were  sought.      

"In  the  vicinity  of  Chamber's  Lake  are 
the  head  waters  of  several  other  mountain 
streams.    Northward  some  five  miles  on  the 
northern  slope  of   Mount  Cameron   are  the  head- 
waters   of    the    Big    Laramie    river,    which    Hows 
northward  and  empties  into  the  North  Platte  river 
in  Wyoming.     Westward  about  the  same  distance 
is  Cameron  Pass,  where  Michigan  creek  and  several 
other  small  streams  have  their  rise  and  flow  west- 
ward down  into  North  Park  and  empty  at  last  into 
the  North  Platte  itself.     Again  to  the  southwest- 
ward  and  lying  beyond  the  Continental  Divide  are 
the   headwaters   of   the   Grand   river,   which   flows 
southviresterly  and  empties  into  the  Colorado  river. 


which  in  turn  flows  to  the  Pacific.  Yet  the  engi- 
neers upon  investigation  found  that  by  tapping 
these  streams  at  an  elevation  of  some  10,000  feet 
above  sea  level,  water  could  be  conveyed  over  the 
intervening   divides    and    delivered    into    the    head- 


LARAMIE   RIVER   FEEDER   DITCH— KNOWN 
AS   THE    "SKYLINE" 

waters  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre,  and  that  the  water 
could  be  legally  appropriated  as  the  streams  named 
yet  held  large  quantities  that  had  not  been  appro- 
priated for  irrigation  purposes.  The  company 
thereupon  decided  to  obtain  a  portion  of  this  water 
by  bringing  it  over  to  the  Cache  la  Poudre  water- 
shed. 

"They  began  tapping  the  Big  Laramie.  They 
commenced  their  ditch  which  was  to  act  as  a  feeder, 
high  up  in  the  gulch  on  the  northern  slope  of 
Mount  Cameron,  where  the  river  had  a  discharge 

[157] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


of  some  500  cubic  feet  of  water,  and  swung  it  round 
to  the  eastern  flank  of  the  mountain  to  Chamber's 
Lake,  a  distance  of  some  five  miles,  where  it  dis- 
charges into  the  lake.  It  was  a  difficult  piece  of 
engineering,  located  as  the  ditch  was  at  such  a  great 
altitude,  and  upon  the  side  of  a  mountain  whose 
slope  was  at  an  angle  of  about  459*  There  were 
three  principal  classes  of  material  encountered  in 
the  excavation — loose  earth,  loose  rock  and  solid 
rock.  One  tunnel  110  feet  in  length  through  solid 
rock  was  constructed.  The  difficulties  of  construc- 
tion may  be  readily  imagined  when  it  is  stated  that 
the  ditch  was  constructed  at  least  1,500  feet  above 
the  base  of  the- mountain.  In  the  first  place,  the 
timber  was  all  cleared  from  the  site  of  the  proposed 
ditch  and  then  about  a  foot  of  vegetable  mould  was 
scraped  off  down  to  solid  ground  and  banked  on  the 
lower  side.  With  the  felled  timber,  log  curbing 
was  constructed  to  hold  the  lower  bank.  Where 
there  was  standing  timber  on  the  lower  side,  the 
felled  timber  was  rolled  down  against  it  thus  form- 
ing another  scheme  of  retention.  At  intervals  for 
at  least  two-thirds  of  the  distance  around  the  flank 
of  the  mountain  small  streams  were  intersected. 
These  were  turned  into  the  ditch  to  add  their  waters 
to  the  general  supply.  The  principal  of  these 
streams  was  Two  and  a  Half  Mile  creek.  The 
ditch  was  at  first  flumed  across  the  gulch  and  then 
the  water  from  the  creek  was  carried  into  it  over 
a  latticed  apron.  The  apron  was  designed  to  both 
break  the  force  of  the  water  for  a  better  protection 
of  the  flume  and  also  to  permit  all  floatage  to  be 
carried  over  the  flume  and  discharged  into  the 
creek  below. 

"The  ditch  is  five  miles  in  length,  eight  feet 
wide  at  the  bottom,  and  twelve  feet  wide  at  the 
top,  and  will  carry  water  to  the  depth  of  four  feet. 
n§  carrying  capacity  at  its  head  is  240  cubic  feet 
per  second,  but  in  order  to  embrace  the  water  of 
the  intersecting  creeks,  its  capacity  is  gradually  in- 
creased until  at  its  outlet  it  has  a  carrying  capacity 
of  400  feet.  The  ditch  has  stood  the  test  well. 
The  lower  bank  has  settled  down  solidly  and  has 
not  yet  experienced  a  single  break.  The  upper  bank, 
however,  is  subject  to  a  constant  sliding  process  from 
above.  Some  parts  of  the  mountain  side  are  springy 
and  from  these  earth  slides  result.  It  was  also  found 
that  the  swaying  of  the  trees  on  the  upper  bank 
caused  a  loosening  of  the  soil,  so  the  standing  timber 
was  felled  some  twenty-five  or  thirty  feet  further 
back  from  the  bank.  To  prevent  breakage  from  sud- 
den floods  caused  by  cloudbursts  above,  automatic 
wasteways  have  been  constructed.    Log  cribbing  has 


also  been  built  upon  the  upper  bank  and  along  the 
most  exposed  parts  in  order  to  catch  loose  matter 
that  may  slide  down  from  above. 

"The  company  has  also  reconstructed  its  Cham- 
ber's Lake  dam,  but  in  a  more  substantial  manner 
than  formerly.  That  part  of  the  old  earth  dam 
which  was  carried  out  has  been  replaced  by  a 
strong  dam  of  piling.  The  round  piling  was  driven 
to  depths  varying  from  23  to  25  feet,  and  the  sheet 
piling  from  10  to  14  feet.  The  dam  is  11  feet  high 
above  the  main  floor,  190  feet  long  on  the  top,  and 
150  feet  at  the  bottom.  The  dam  is  built  into  the 
old  embankment,  which  is  63  feet  wide  at  the  base 
and  30  feet  wide  on  top,  and  is  faced  with  crib- 
work." 

In  May,  1904,  this  second  dam  was  carried  out 
by  a  flood,  and  in  the  fall  of  1910  the  company  be- 
gan its  reconstruction  in  a  more  stable  and  substan- 
tial form.  This  third  dam  is  being  built  of  concrete 
and  will  be  ten  feet  higher  than  the  second  one 
and  will  impound  more  than  double  the  quantity  of 
water  that  it  did. 

Newspaper  History 

As  already  stated,  the  Express,  founded  by  Joseph 
S.  McClelland  in  April,  1873,  was  the  first  news- 
paper printed  and  published  in  Larimer  county. 
It  was  started  as  a  Republican  paper  and  remained 
as  such  until  1896,  when  it  espoused  the  politics  of 
the  Colorado  Silver  Republican  party  and  continued 
to  advocate  those  policies  until  1900,  when  it  re- 
turned to  the  Republican  fold  and  became,  and  still 
continues  to  be  an  able  and  influential  exponent  of 
the  principles  of  that  party.  It  has  passed  through 
several  changes  of  ownership  and  is  now  owned, 
controlled,  edited  and  published  by  George  C.  and 
J.  G.  McCormick  under  the  firm  name  of  McCor- 
mick  Brothers.  In  1881  the  Express,  then  owned  by 
H.  A.  Crafts,  began  issuing  an  afternoon  daily  edi- 
tion, which  was  continued  until  1884,  when  the 
daily  was  suspended.  On  May  28th,  1907,  McCor- 
mick Brothers  began  issuing  a  morning  daily  edition 
of  the  Express  in  connection  with  their  weekly,  and 
the  publications  have  been  important  factors  in  the 
upbuilding  of  the  home  of  its  adoption.  The  next 
newspaper  venture  was  the  Standard,  founded  in 
March,  1874,  by  Clark  Boughton,  who  died  a  few 
months  later.  After  his  death  the  Standard  was 
published  by  H.  L.  Myrick  and  W.  W.  Sullivan 
until  1876,  when  it  suspended,  and  the  press  and 
material  was  sold  to  John  Oliver  of  Black  Hawk. 


[158] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


The  Fort  Collins  Courier  was  founded  in  June, 
1878,  by  Ansel  Watrous  and  Elmer  M.  Pelton  and 
the  paper  is  still  being  published.  It  was  started 
as  a  Democratic  paper  and  at  once  became  the  organ 
of  the  Democratic  party  of  Larimer  county,  but 
after  a  change  of  ownership,  in  February,  1899, 
it  became  an  advocate  of  the  principles  and  policies 
of  the  Republican  party  and  is  still  a  rigid  adherent 
of  those  principles  and  policies.  In  May,  1882,  the 
Courier  began  issuing  an  evening  daily  edition, 
which,  however,  was  suspended  in  June,  1883, 
after  a  little  more  than  a  year's  experience.  The 
publishers  found  the  field  too  narrow  to  support 
such  a  daily  as  they  were  circulating  and,  after 
sinking  more  than  a  thousand  dollars  in  the  venture, 
decided  to  quit.  The  effort  to  establish  a  daily 
newspaper  on  a  profitable  basis  was  renewed  in 
March,  1902,  and  this  was  successful.  The  Even- 
ing Courier  is  now  nearing  its  ninth  volume  and 
is  in  a  flourishing  condition.  It  has  been  prosperous 
from  the  very  start  and  is  now  considered  one  of 
the  soild,  substantial  institutions  of  the  city. 

The  Courier  is  owned  by  the  Courier  Printing 
&  Publishing  Company,   Carl  Anderson,   manager. 

The  Reporter,  the  first  newspaper  published  in 
Loveland,  was  founded  by  G.  N.  Udell  on  August 
7th,  1880.  Two  months  later  the  Reporter  passed 
under  the  control  and  management  of  Frank  A. 
McClelland,  eldest  son  of  the  founder  of  the  Lar- 
imer County  Express,  and  he  sold  the  plant  and 
subscription  list  to  George  W.  Bailey  and  John 
Smart  early  in  1882.  Since  then  the  Reporter  has 
had  several  owners,  editors  and  publishers.  At 
present  it  is  owned  and  ably  edited  by  Ira  O. 
Knapp,  who  has  established  for  it  a  reputation  for 
reliability  and  a  high  regard  for  the  right  in  all 
things,  as  well  as  in  the  manner  of  dealing  with  all 
subjects  treated  in  its  columns,  which  has  given  the 
Reporter  a  high  standing  among  the  best  people  of 
the  county.    The  Reporter  is  Republican  in  politics. 

The  Loveland  Leader  was  started  in  1883  by 
Horace  P.  Crafts,  who  discontinued  its  publication 
after  a  few  months'  experience  in  a  field  already 
well  filled. 

In  1885  S.  W.  Teagarden  started  the  Larimer 
Count  Bee  in  Fort  Collins.  Two  years  later  the 
Bee  disappeared  from  the  Fort  Collins  newspaper 
field.  It  was  Republican  in  politics  and  was  started 
for  the  purpose  of  driving  the  Express  to  the  wall, 
but  failed  in  its  mission.  Then  came  two  other 
newspaper  ventures,  which  had  short  but  ill-fared 
lives.  The  Larimer  County  Republican  started  in 
1889  and  the  Fort  Collins  Gazette,  which  made  its 


appearance  in  1892.  They  came  upon  the  stage 
of  action  to  "fill  a  long  felt  want"  and  that  want 
proved  to  be  a  newspaper  grave.  The  Argus  was 
started  in  1899,  and  after  passing  through  several 
mutations  and  changes  of  owners  and  name  finally 
became  known  as  the  Fort  Collins  Review,  under 
which  title  it  is  still  being  published  daily  and 
weekly.  The  Review  is  the  leading  Democratic 
paper  in  the  county.  It  is  ably  edited  by  Edward 
D.  Foster  and  is  published  by  the  Review  Publish- 
ing company. 

In  1903  the  Evening  Star  appeared  in  the  Fort 
Collins  newspaper  firmament  under  the  editorial 
management  of  I.  C.  Bradley.  It  was  small  in 
size,  but  bright  and  snappy  and  its  daily  appearance 
was  looked  forward  to  with  considerable  interest 
for  ten  months,  when  it  dropped  below  the  horizon 
and  passed  out  of  sight. 

Along  sometime  in  the  90's,  the  exact  date  I  am 
unable  to  give.  Earl  Harbaugh  started  the  Loveland 
Register,  which  had  a  somewhat  checkered  career, 
finally  passing  off  the  stage  of  action  in  1908.  The 
Loveland  Herald,  Democratic,  daily  and  weekly, 
was  founded  in  1907,  and  is  still  preaching  the 
doctrines  espoused  and  promulgated  by  Jefferson 
and  Jackson  in  a  sprightly  and  interesting  manner. 
It  has  a  large  number  of  readers,  an  extra  good 
advertising  patronage  and  is  steadily  making  money 
for  its  active,  energetic  and  enterprising  editor, 
Mark  A.  Ellison. 

Two  newspapers  had  their  birth  in  Berthoud, 
the  Bulletin  and  the  News,  only  the  first  named  sur- 
viving. The  Bulletin  is  independent  in  politics 
and  is  a  well  edited  and  well  managed  local  news- 
paper and  is  rendering  excellent  service  in  exploit- 
ing the  resources,  advantages  and  attractions  of  the 
Little  Thompson  valley,  one  of  the  richest  and 
most  prosperous  agricultural  sections  of  Colorado. 
J.  S.  Bailey  is  the  name  of  the  present  editor  and 
proprietor. 

Though  young  in  years,  Wellington  has  given 
birth  to  two  newspapers,  the  News  and  the  Sun,  the 
latter  alone  surviving.  The  Sun  has  changed  hands 
several  times,  but  is  now  owned  and  conducted  by 
John  E.  Pope,  an  experienced  newspaper  man  and 
practical  printer,  who  is  serving  his  clientage  ably 
and  well.  It  was  founded  in  1907,  and  has  done 
much  to  advance  the  material,  social  and  moral 
welfare  of  the  far-famed  Boxelder  valley,  of  which 
Wellington  is  the  commercial  center. 

In  February,  1887,  after  Manhattan  had  be- 
come a  booming  mining  camp  with  brilliant  pros- 
pects, a  newspaper  called  the  Prospector  was  started 

[159] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


to  proclaim  to  the  world  the  golden  resources  of  its 
chosen  home.  The  Prospector  was  published  by  the 
Manhattan  Publishing  company,  of  which  Dr.  M. 
A.  Baker  was  president;  I.  R.  Blevin,  secretary, 
and  F.  A.  McCarty,  treasurer.  The  paper  was 
short  lived  and  passed  out  of  existence  within  a  year 
and  the  printing  material  was  moved  to  Denver. 

In  19d6  Mr.  and  Mrs.  B.  F.  Evans  of  Fort  Col- 
lins launched  the  Beacon,  a  bright  and  sparkling 
literary  weekly,  which  they  continued  to  publish 
until  1909,  when  it  was  suspended.  This  completes 
the  list  of  newspaper  ventures  in  Larimer  county, 
from  which  it  appears  that  many  were  called  and 
few  chosen.  The  surviving  papers  are  the  Daily 
and  Weekly  Express;  the  Daily  and  Weekly  Cour- 
ier, and  the  Daily  and  Weekly  Review,  all  of  Fort 
Collins;  the  Weekly  Reporter  and  the  Daily  and 
Weekly  Herald  of  Loveland;  the  Weekly  Bulletin 
of  Berthoud,  and  the  Weekly  Sun  of  Wellington. 

Postoffices  in  Larimer  County 

The  first  settlers  in  Larimer  county  remained 
without  a  postoffice  and  mail  facilities  until  1862, 
when  the  Overland  Stage  line  was  transferred  from 
the  North  Platte  route  to  the  South  Platte,  the  line 
following  the  latter  stream  from  Julesburg  to  Den- 
ver, thence  north  through  Larimer  county  via  Lit- 
tle Thompson,  Big  Thompson,  Laporte,  Virginia 
Dale  to  the  Laramie  Plains,  and  thence  west  to  a 
junction  with  the  old  North  Platte  route.  That 
year  postoffices  were  established  at  Mariana's,  on  the 
Big  Thompson,  and  at  Laporte.  The  office  at  Mar- 
iana's was  called  Namaqua.  A  Spaniard  with  an 
Indian  wife  was  postmaster.  G.  R.  Sanderson, 
who  kept  a  store  at  Laporte,  was  the  first  postmaster 
at  that  place.  Before  that  date  settlers  had  to  go 
to  Denver  or  Fort  Laramie  for  their  mail.  In  1864 
a  postoffice  was  established  at  Washburn's  Crossing 
of  the  Big  Thompson,  and  John  E.  Washburn  was 
postmaster.  It  was  known  as  the  Big  Thompson 
postoffice  and  retained  that  name  until  the  Colorado 
Central  Railroad  was  built  in  1877,  when  it  was 
changed  to  Loveland,  which  name  it  still  bears.  Soon 
after  the  soldiers  established  a  military  post  at  Fort 
Collins,  in  the  fall  of  1864,  the  troops  were  given 
mail  facilities  and  a  postoffice  called  Camp  Collins. 
Joseph  Mason  was  the  first  postmaster,  the  office 
being  kept  in  his  store,  which  stood  where  the  City 
Drug  store  now  stands.  As  the  population  in- 
creased and  a  demand  grew  up  for  them,  other 
postoffices  were  established  in  different  parts  of  the 
county  where  they  would  accommodate  the  greatest 

[160] 


number  of  people.     At  present  there  are   twenty- 
four  postoffices  in  the  county,  named  as  follows : 

Bellvue,  Berthoud,  Boxelder,  Bulger,  Drake,  Elk- 
horn,  Estes  Park,  Fort  Collins,  Glendevey,  Glen- 
eyre,  Home,  Laporte,  Livermore,  Logcabin.  Long's 
Peak,  Loveland,  Masonville,  Moraine  Park,  Pine- 
wood,  St.  Cloud,  Timnath,  Virginia  Dale,  Waverly 
and  Wellington.  One  of  these.  Fort  Collins,  is 
a  second-class  office,  and  two  others,  Loveland  and 
Berthoud,  are  third-class  offices.  All  the  others  are 
in  the  fourth  class.  There  are  five  Rural  free 
delivery  routes  radiating  from  Fort  Collins,  two 
from  Loveland,  two  from  Berthoud,  two  from  Wel- 
lington and  one  from  Bellvue.  The  annual  re- 
ceipts at  the  Fort  Collins  office  for  stamps,  stamped 
envelopes,  postal  cards  sold  and  for  box  rents  ex- 
ceeds $30,000.  The  government  has  appropriated 
$135,000  for  a  federal  building  containing  a  post- 
office,  work  on  which  is  expected  to  be  started  in 
1911. 

Origin  of  Local  Names 

I  have  devoted  much  time  and  energy  to  an  effort 
to  ascertain,  if  possible,  the  origin  of  the  names  given 
to  localities,  streams,  mountains,  lakes,  passes,  etc., 
with  greater  or  less  success.  In  some  instances  I 
have  been  unable,  after  considerable  research,  to 
get  the  desired  information,  even  from  the  oldest 
inhabitants,  as  in  the  case  of  Namaqua.  No  one 
living  in  the  county  has  been  able  to  tell  me  how 
that  name  originated,  nor  what  it  signifies.  It  is 
unquestionably  of  Indian  origin,  but  how,  when 
and  by  whom  it  was  bestowed  and  what  it  means  are 
among  things  which  have  escaped  the  memory  (if 
they  ever  knew)  of  all  the  surviving  pioneers.  In 
several  instances  the  origin  of  the  names  given  to 
localities  is  indicated  in  the  historical  sketches  of 
those  localities,  as  in  the  case  of  Fort  Collins,  Love- 
land, Big  Thom.pson,  Livermore,  Laporte,  Virginia 
Dale,  Stove  Prairie  and  Buckhorn.  In  addition  to 
these,  the  following  list  of  names  under  separate 
captions,  is  presented  in  the  belief  that  the  history 
of  their  origin  should  be  preserved  for  the  benefit 
of  future  generations : 

Naming  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre 
River 

The  true  story  of  how  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river 
got  its  name  was  told  me  by  the  late  Abner  Loomis 
and  printed  in  the  Fort  Collins  Courier  of  February 
8th,  1883.  This  story  came  to  Mr.  Loomis  from 
first  hand,  having  been  told  to  him  by  his  long  time 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER   COUNTY,    COLORADO 


personal  friend,  the  late  Antoine  Janis,  the  first 
white  settler  in  Larimer  county,  who  was  a  member 
of  a  party  of  freighters  that  was  snow-bound  near 
the  present  town  of  Bellvue,  in  November,.  1836. 
The  story  as  it  was  printed  in  the  Courier  more  than 
a  quarter  of  a  century  ago,  is  substantially  as  fol- 
lows: 

"A  few  rods  distant  from  where  the  Bellvue 
school  house  now  stands  there  is,  or  was,  a  deep 
artificial  depression  covering  several  feet  each  way 
in  extent.  From  this  hole  in  the  ground  the  Cache 
la  Poudre  river,  one  of  Colorado's  largest  and  finest 
mountain  streams,  derives  its  name.  The  circum- 
stances connected  with  the  origin  of  the  name  are  as 
follows : 

"In  November,  1836,  a  large  party  of  trappers 
and  employes  in  the  service  of  the  American  Fur 
company,  while  on  their  way  from  St.  Louis  to 
Green  River,  Wyoming,  with  a  heavily  loaded  wag- 
on-train, camped  for  the  night  on  the  bank  of  the 
river  near  the  locality  mentioned.  Antoine  Janis, 
who  was  well  known  to  all  the  early  settlers  of 
Northern  Colorado,  then  a  boy  twelve  years  of  age, 
was  with  the  party,  his  father  being  captain  of  the 
caravan. 

"During  the  night  a  severe  snow  storm  set  in  and 
continued  for  several  days,  covering  the  ground  with 
an  immense  body  of  snow,  which,  for  the  time  being, 
prevented  the  further  progress  of  the  caravan.  Fi- 
nally, after  the  storm  had  abated  and  the  snow  had 
settled  some,  the  order  was  given  to  lighten  the 
wagons  and  get  ready  to  proceed.  A  large,  deep 
pit,  like  a  house  cellar  only  much  deeper,  was  dug 
a  few  rods  south  of  the  camp,  and  all  that  could  be 
spared  from  each  wagon  was  stored  away  in  it.  The 
pit  was  then  skillfully  filled  and  covered  over  with 
a  pile  of  brush,  which  was  set  on  fire  and  burned, 
giving  the  spot  the  appearance  of  having  been  a 
camping  ground.  This  was  done  to  deceive  the  pry- 
ing eyes  of  thieving  Indians. 

"The  train,  considerably  lightened,  then  pursued 
its  way  over  the  mountains  to  its  destination.  Some 
of  the  teams  returned  later  in  the  season,  reopened 
the  pit  and  loading  the  goods  that  had  been  safely 
cached,  departed  with  them  for  Green  River  with- 
out the  loss  of  a  pound  of  freight. 

"Included  in  the  stores  buried  in  the  pit  were 
several  hundred  pounds  of  powder.  From  this  cir- 
cumstance comes  the  name  Cache  la  Poudre,  a 
French  phrase  signifying  'where  the  powder  was 
hidden.'  " 

There  have  been  several  stories  which  pretended 
to   give   the   origin   of  the   name  of  the   Cache  la 


Poudre  river,  but  this  is  believed  to  be  the  true 
one,  as  it  was  related  by  an  eye-witness  of  the  cach- 
ing of  the  powder. 

Definition  of  the  Word  "Cache" 

In  Chittenden's  American  Fur  Trade,  Volume  I., 
page  41,  we  find  the  following  lucid  definition  of  the 
term  "Cache,"  which  possesses  a  local  significance 
because  of  the  name  given  to  the  principal  river 
which  rises  in  and  flows  eastward  through  Larimer 
county.  The  stream  derives  its  name  from  an  inci- 
dent, the  nature  of  and  reason  for  which  are  so 
clearly  described  by  the  author.     He  says: 

"Of  the  many  terms  peculiar  to  the  fur  trade  no 
one  was  of  more  common  use  than  the  'cache.'  It 
frequently  happens  that  parties  had  to  abandon  tem- 
porarily the  property  they  were  carrying,  with  the 
intention  of  returning  for  it  at  a  more  convenient 
time,  the  property  so  abandoned  being  cached  or 
concealed  so  as  to  prevent  its  loss  or  injury.  The 
use  of  the  word  in  this  specific  meaning  is  very  old 
and,  of  course,  came  through  the  French,  to  whose 
language  it  belongs.  The  cache,  as  ordinarily  pre- 
pared, consisted  of  a  deep  pit  in  the  ground,  in  the 
construction  of  which  the  point  of  paramount  im- 
portance was  to  avoid  any  trace  of  the  work  which 
might  attract  attention  after  it  was  completed.  The 
size  of  the  pit  depended  upon  the  quantity  it  was  to 
hold  and  sometimes  it  was  very  spacious  and  con- 
tained wagons  and  other  bulky  material.  The  best 
site  was  in  a  dry  soil,  easily  excavated,  and  in  a  sit- 
uation that  afiforded  good  facilities  for  concealment. 
The  pit  was  lined  with  sticks  and  dry  leaves,  after 
which  the  goods  were  carefully  disposed  therein, 
and  all  perishable  articles,  such  as  provisions  or  fur, 
were  protected  with  the  utmost  care.  This  was 
a  vital  matter,  for  it  frequently  happened  that  val- 
uable articles  were  found  spoiled. 

"The  greatest  diflficulty  in  the  preparation  of  a 
cache  was  the  concealment  after  completion.  From 
the  sharp  eyes  of  the  sons  of  the  prairie  no  trace 
however  minute  would  escape.  *  *  *  The  conceal- 
ment consisted  simply  in  removing  all  evidence  of 
the  cache — never  by  any  sort  of  covering.  The 
point  was  to  leave  the  ground  looking  just  as  it 
did  before.  If  in  turf,  the  sod  was  scrupulously 
replaced.  In  other  places  it  was  usual  to  build  a 
camp-fire  over  the  cache  and  thus  not  only  obliterate 
all  evidence  of  the  work,  but  divert  attention  as 
well.  With  all  this  care,  caches  were  often  discov- 
ered and  'raised'  or  'lifted'  by  those  who  had  no 
right  to  them.    Wolves  often  dug  them  out  and  their 

[161] 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


work  would  discover  them  to  the  Indians.  The 
trappers  themselves,  as  a  general  thing,  respected  the 
cache  of  rival  parties. 

"These  caches,"  continues  the  writer,  "sometimes 
attained  notoriety  and  have  left  their  names  in  var- 
ious localities.  Cache  Valley,  Utah,  is  an  example. 
There  are  also  numerous  'Cache  Creeks'  scattered 
throughout  the  West." 

On  Monday,  August  1st,  1910,  "Colorado  Day," 
Cache  la  Poudre  Chapter,  Daughters  of  the  Ameri- 
can Revolution,  unveiled  and  dedicated  a  large  gran- 
ite tablet  to  mark  the  spot  where  trappers,  in  1836, 
cached  a  quantity  of  powder,  from  which  incident 
the  Cache  la  Poudre  river  takes  its  name.  The  cer- 
emonies took  place  on  the  lawn  of  the  home  of  D.  D. 
Doty,  in  Pleasant  valley,  on  whose  farm  the  powder 
was  buried  74  years  ago,  and  were  interesting,  in- 
structive and  impressive.  Appropriate  introductory 
addresses  were  delivered  by  Hon.  Fred  W.  Stover, 
judge  of  the  county  court,  himself  a  son  of  a  pio- 
neer, and  Mrs.  Frank  Wheaton  of  Denver,  Colo- 
rado, Regent  of  the  Daughters  of  the  American 
Revolution.  The  tablet  was  then  unveiled  by  the 
Misses  Florence  and  Esther  Gillette,  daughters  of 
Mrs.  C.  P.  Gillette,  Chaplain  of  the  Colorado 
Chapter.  The  presentation  address  was  delivered  by 
Mrs.  P.  J.  McHugh,  and  the  address  of  acceptance 
on  behalf  of  Larimer  county  by  John  J.  Herring, 
county  attorney.  The  tablet,  suitably  engraved, 
stands  at  the  roadside,  a  few  rods  north  of  where 
the  pit  was  dug,  in  Mr.  Doty's  field. 

Another  Name  for  Cache  la  Poudre 
,    River 

In  Major  Stephen  H.  Long's  report  of  his  noted 
expedition  to  the  Rocky  Mountains,  made  in  1820, 
we  find  the  following  reference  to  what  is  believed 
to  have  been  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river.  He  says: 
"On  the  3rd  of  July  we  passed  the  mouths  of  three 
large  creeks  heading  in  the  mountains  and  entering 
the  Platte  from  the  northwest.  One  of  these,  nearly 
opposite  to  where  we  were  encamped,  is  called 
'Pateros  creek,'  from  a  Frenchman  of  that  name 
who  is  said  to  have  been  bewildered  upon  it,  wander- 
ing about  for  twenty  days  almost  without  food.  He 
was  found  by  a  band  of  Kiowas  who  frequented  this 
part  of  the  country,  and  restored  to  his  companions, 
a  party  of  hunters  at  that  time  camping  on  the 
Arkansas." 

The  three  large  creeks  mentioned  by  Major  Long 
must  have  been  the  Cache  la  Poudre,  the  Big 
Thompson  and  the  St.  Vrain,  and  it  is  altogether 

[16::] 


probable  that  the  one  he  called  Pateros  is  now 
known  .  as  the  Cache  la  Poudre.  How  long  the 
stream  had  been  known  as  Pateros  creek  before 
Maj.  Long  noticed  it  we  have  no  means  of  deter- 
mining, as  we  are  unable  to  find  any  other  reference 
to  it  in  reports  of  either  former  or  subsequent  expedi- 
tions. Neither  does  it  appear  how  Long  learned 
that  it  was  called  Pateros  creek.  The  present 
name  of  Cache  la  Poudre  was  not  bestowed  upon 
the  stream  until  some  fifteen  or  sixteen  years  later. 
It  appears,  however,  that  the  Cache  la  Poudre  val- 
ley had  been  visited  by  white  men  hunters  and  trap- 
pers as  much  as  one  hundred  years  ago,  and  probably 
earlier  than  that  period.  The  origin  of  the  name 
Cache  la  Poudre  is  given  elsewhere  in  this  book. 

Medicine  Bow  Mountains 

The  name  Medicine  Bow  Mountains,  a  spur  of 
the  Continental  Divide,  and  which  forms  the  west- 
ern boundary  of  Larimer  county,  is  derived  from 
the  Indians.  Tradition  says  that  the  Northern 
tribes  repaired  annually  to  these  mountains  for  the 
purpose  of  procuring  a  variety  of  ash  timber  from 
which  they  made  their  bows.  With  the  Indians 
anything  that  is  excellent  for  the  purpose  for  which 
it  was  intended  is  called  Good  Medicine ;  hence 
this  range  of  mountains  came  to  be  known  as  the 
place  where  they  could  get  Good  Medicine  bows. 
Medicine  Bow  Mountains  and  Medicine  Bow 
river  naturally  followed. 

Naming  of  Cameron  Pass 

Cameron  Pass,  one  of  the  notable  depressions  in 
the  Medicine  Bow  range  of  mountains,  was  named 
in  honor  of  Gen.  R.  A.  Cam.eron,  president  of  the 
Greeley  Colony.  Soon  after  locating  the  colony 
at  Greeley,  in  1870,  General  Cameron  and  Dr. 
Laws  went  up  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river  to  Cham- 
ber's lake  on  a  prospecting  trip,  and  while  in  the 
mountains  discovered  the  pass  through  the  Medi- 
cine Bow  Mountains  which  led  into  North  Park, 
and  afterwards  named  by  the  Union  Pacific  en- 
gineering department  as  Cameron  Pass,  in  honor  of 
General  Cameron,  and  was  entered  on  the  map  as 
such. 

Naming  of  the  Laramie  River 

The  Laramie  river,  perhaps  the  largest  stream 
in  Larimer  county,  heads  in  the  Medicine  Bow 
mountains,  a  short  distance  northwest  of  Chamber's 
lake.     It  flows  almost  directly  north  for  about  six 


HISTORY         OF        LARIMER         COUNTY,         COLORADO 


miles  and  then  bears  northwesterly  through  one  of 
the  prettiest  valleys  in  the  state,  crossing  the  state 
line  into  Wyoming  nearly  thirty  miles  northwest  of 
its  source.  Thence  it  flows  a  northerly  course  and 
empties  into  the  North  Platte  near  Fort  Laramie. 
The  Laramie  is  fed  by  several  important  tributaries 
before  it  leaves  Colorado,  which  have  their  sources 
in  the  Medicine  Bow  Mountains,  among  them  being 
the  West  Branch,  Spring  Creek,  Rawah,  Mclntyre, 
Legarde,  Grace  and  other  creeks.  The  main  stream 
derives  its  name  from  the  Jacques  Laramie,  a  French 
Canadian,  who  came  into  the  country  in  the  employ 
of  the  Northwest  Fur  company  when  that  organiza- 
tion first  extended  its  operations  to  the  waters  of 
the  upper  Missouri.  Laramie  gathered  about  him 
a  number  of  reliable  trappers  and  trapped  on  the 
headwaters  of  the  North  Platte.  About  the  year 
1820  Laramie  decided  to  trap  on  the  Laramie  river 
and  its  tributaries,  notwithstanding  the  fact  that  it 
was  well  known  among  trappers  as  a  dangerous 
country,  for  the  reason  that  it  was  the  battle  ground 
of  the  Northern  and  Southern  tribes,  who  were  con- 
tinually at  war  with  each  other.  Laram.ie's  friends 
urged  upon  him  the  danger  of  penetrating  the  dis- 
puted country,  but  he  calmed  their  fears  by  saying 
that  he  would  go  alone  and  throw  himself  upon  the 
protection  of  the  Indians,  who  were  known  to  be 
friendly  to  him.  At  the  next  gathering  at  the  ren- 
dezvous, Laramie,  the  heretofore  central  figure  in 
the  company,  was  absent.  His  friends,  with  fore- 
bodings of  evil,  organized  a  strong  party  and  went 
up  the  Laramie  river  in  search  of  a  cabin  which  he 
informed  them  he  would  build.  In  two  or  three 
days  they  found  the  cabin  and  the  lifeless  body  of 
their  beloved  partizan.  There  was  every  indica- 
tion that  he  had  met  death  at  the  hands  of  the 
Indians.  From  that  time  on  they  spoke  of  the  river 
on  the  banks  of  which  Laramie  had  been  murdered 
as  Laramie's  river,  and  later  trappers  in  the  country 
called  it  Laramie  river.  This  is  the  origin  of  the 
name  of  Laramie  river,  from  which  comes  Laramie 
Plains,  Laramie  Range,  Laramie  Peak,  Fort  Lar- 
amie, Laramie  county,  Wyoming,  Laramie  City 
and  Little  Laramie  river. 

How  Chambers  Lake  Got  Its  Name 

In  the  late  fifties  Robert  Chambers  and  his  son, 
Robert,  came  out  from  Iowa  and  built  a  cabin  near 
the  mouth  of  the  Big  Thompson  canon.  They 
engaged  in  trapping  and  hunting  for  a  livlihood, 
operating  on  all  the  streams  that  head  in  the  Med- 
icine Bow  Mountains.      In  the  fall  of   1858   they 


established  a  camp  on  the  headwaters  of  the  Cache 
la  Poudre  river  and  set  about  trapping  for  beaver 
and  hunting  bear  for  furs,  meeting  with  good  suc- 
cess. Their  ammunition  running  low,  Robert,  the 
son,  was  dispatched  to  Laporte,  then  quite  a  settle- 
ment and  trading  point,  for  a  supply  of  powder  and 
lead.  During  his  absence  the  Indians  attacked  the 
camp  at  the  lake  and  succeeded  in  killing  and 
scalping  the  lone  occupant,  but  not  until  after  a 
desperate  fight.  Chambers  held  the  redskins  in 
check  while  his  supply  of  bullets  held  out  and  then 
he  cut  the  ramrod  of  his  gun  into  slugs  and  fired 
them  at  his  assailants.  But  all  in  vain.  He  was 
at  last  overcome  and  cruelly  slain  and  his  body  hor- 
ribly mutilated.  The  Indians  burned  the  cabin  and, 
taking  the  furs  that  had  been  gathered,  fled  into 
North  Park.  When  the  son  returned  with  a  supply 
of  ammunition  he  found  his  father  cold  in  death 
and  the  camp  destroyed.  He  was  so  affected  by  the 
scene  which  met  his  eyes  that  he  vowed  vengeance 
on  the  Indians  and  determined  to  kill  on  sight 
every  redskin  that  crossed  his  path — a  vow  that  he 
kept  and  made  good.  He  abandoned  the  mountains 
and  returned  to  his  father's  lonely  cabin  on  the 
Thompson.  This  is  substantially  the  story  as  he 
told  it  to  former  County  Commissioner  W.  P. 
Bosworth,  in  1872,  who  related  it  to  the  writer. 

After  the  Union  Pacific  road  had  been  completed 
to  Cheyenne,  in  1867,  young  Chambers,  while  in 
Cheyenne,  told  one  of  the  tie  contractors  of  the 
road  of  the  vast  amount  of  tie  timber  to  be  found 
on  the  Cache  la  Poudre  in  the  vicinity  of  the  lake 
where  his  father  had  been  killed.  The  contractor 
went  there  with  a  camp  and  tie  outfit  and  cut  and 
floated  down  the  Laramie  more  than  one  million 
railroad  ties  for  the  Union  and  Denver  Pacific 
railroads.  The  camp  was  established  on  the  shore 
of  the  lake,  which  was  given  the  name  of  Chambers 
in  honor  of  the  old  trapper  who  lost  his  life  in  a 
struggle  with  the  savages.  Since  then  the  locality 
has  been  known  as  Chambers  lake,  one  of  the  most 
picturesque  mountain  landmarks  in  Northern  Colo- 
rado. 

Lone  Pine  Creek 

A  beautiful  trout  stream  derives  its  name  from 
a  symmetrically  formed,  low  branched  pine  tree 
which  stood  solitary  and  alon'e  near  the  banks  of 
of  the  stream  on  the  Emerson  ranch,  three  miles 
west  of  Livermore  postoffice.  For  years  this  tree 
was  a  familiar  landmark  to  travelers  going  to  and 
from  the  mountains.  The  Lone  Pine  is  a  tributary 
of  the  North  fork  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river. 


[163] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


and  heads  high  up  among  the  timber  and  snows  of 
Greenridge,  a  range  of  high  hills  which  divide  the 
waters  of  the  Laramie  river  from  those  of  the  east- 
ern slope.  In  places  the  stream  flows  through  deep, 
dark  canons  and  then  widens  out  into  beautiful 
valleys,  in  which  are  now  a  number  of  fine  homes 
and  stock  ranches. 

Hook  &  Moore  Canon 

Hook  &  Moore  canon  is  really  a  glade  or  narrow 
valley  lying  between  two  rows  of  hogbacks,  and  ex- 
tends from  a  point  a  little  north  of  Pleasant  valley 
to  Owl  canon,  a  distance  of  about  six  miles.  The 
county  road  from  Fort  Collins  to  Livermore  and 
the  mountain  country  beyond  and  also  to  the  Lara- 
mie Plains  follow  this  glade  to  Owl  canon.  It 
was  named  for  H.  M.  Hook  and  James  Moore,  two 
stockmen  who  pastured  cattle  In  the  glade  in  1864- 
65.  In  1867  Mr.  Hook  moved  his  cattle  to  Wyo- 
ming and  was  the  first  mayor  of  Cheyenne.  In  com- 
pany with  a  man  named  French,  he  conducted  a 
store  at  Laporte  in  1864-65.  He  was  drowned  in 
Green  River  in  1878.  Soon  after  that  his  widow, 
who  was  a  sister  of  Mrs.  H.  C.  Peterson,  and  her 
children  came  to  Fort  Collins  and  resided  here  sev- 
eral years.  Her  daughter.  Miss  Nettie  Hook,  mar- 
ried F.  E.  Gifford,  a  hardware  merchant,  in  1884. 

The  old  Cherokee  Trail,  over  which  the  Over- 
land stage  and  emigrants  passed  in  the  early  days, 
followed  a  glade  southwest  of  and  parallel  with 
Hook  &  Moore  glade,  but  in   1879  the  road  was 


changed  to  Hook  &  Moore  glade  because  it  afforded 
better  and  easier  grades. 

Pingree  Hill 

The  long,  steep  hill  leading  from  the  bottom  of 
the  canon  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river  to  the  up- 
lands, up  and  down  which  all  travel  to  and  from 
Chambers  lake  and  Cameron  Pass  must  climb  or 
descend,  was  named  in  honor  of  George  W.  Pin- 
gree, a  hunter  and  trapper,  who  built  a  cabin  on 
the  river  bank  near  where  the  Rustic  hotel  now 
stands,  and  spent  his  winters  in  the  late  60's  trap- 
ping beaver  and  hunting  wild  game.  He  cut  a  trail 
through  the  timber  down  the  gulch  from  the  summit 
to  the  river,  a  distance  of  three  miles,  and  over  it 
packed  his  supplies,  furs  and  game.  The  descent 
from  the  summit  to  the  river  is  1,200  feet.  Along 
late  in  the  60's,  when  the  Union  Pacific  and  Denver 
Pacific  railroads  were  being  built,  tie  contractors 
and  lumbermen  widened  the  trail  and  graded  a 
road  down  the  hill  so  that  teams  loaded  with  camp 
supplies  could  go  over  it,  giving  the  name  Pingree 
to  the  hill,  by  which  name  it  has  since  been  known. 

Pingree,  called  "Ping"  by  the  Indians,  came  West 
in  1846  and  followed  trapping  and  hunting.  He 
was  with  Kit  Carson  for  many  years  and  during 
the  Indian  troubles  of  1864-65  was  with  Col.  John 
M.  Chivington's  command,  participating  in  the 
battle  of  Sand  Creek  In  November,  1864.  The  old 
scout  and  trapper  is  still  living  at  Fort  Lupton,  well 
past  four  score  years  of  age. 


[164] 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER 


COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


Settlements,  Towns  and  Cities 


Laporte 

1A  (behold)  Porte  (gate),  "behold  the  gate," 
is  properly  named.  It  is  the  gateway  to 
J  all  that  mountainous  region  lying  north 
of  the  South  Platte  river  and  extending 
from  the  Plains  to  the  Continental  Divide,  em- 
bracing thousands  of  square  miles  of  territory, 
and  is  counted  as  being  among  the  localities 
where  the  very  first  white  settlements  were  made 
in  Colorado,  and  is  also  a  point  about  which 
centers  a  great  deal  of  historical  interest.  Indeed, 
it  is  claimed  that  Antoine  Janis,  who  staked  out  a 
claim  a  little  west  of  Laporte  in  1844,  and  occupied 
it  as  a  home  until  1878,  was  the  first  permanent 
white  settler  in  Colorado  north  of  the  Arkansas 
river.  Trapping  camps  on  the  streams  issuing  from 
the  eastern  slope  of  the  mountains  had  been  estab- 
lished and  occupied  by  white  men  during  the  trap- 
ping season  thirty  years  before  that  time,  but  they 
were  by  no  means  permanent  settlements.  The  occu- 
pants of  these  camps  only  lived  in  them  but  a  few 
months  during  the  year  at  best,  and  when  trapping 
ceased  to  be  profitable  the  camps  were  deserted  and 
abandoned  for  all  time.  Away  back  in  the  early 
days,  long  before  the  gold  hunters  made  their  grand 
rush  upon  Colorado,  a  band  of  intrepid  Canadian 
French  mountaineers,  hunters  and  trappers  made 
Laporte  headquarters  for  their  fur  catching  and 
trading  operations.  They  were  here  in  1847, 
when  the  Mormons,  with  their  long  trains,  drawn 
by  weary,  footsore  beasts,  freighted  with  travel- 
stained,  yet  hopeful  men,  women  and  children, 
passed  through  on  their  way  to  a  new  home  in  the 
deepest  recesses  of  the  Rocky  Mountain  region, 
where  they  sought  freedom  to  worship  God  in  their 
own  peculiar  manner ;  they  were  here  when  the  gold 
hunters  came  in  1858,  and  some  of  them  and  their 
half-breed  descendants  remained  until  years  after 
Colorado  was  admitted  into  the  Union  as  a  sover- 
eign state.  Their  neighbors  were  the  Cheyenne 
and  Arapahoe  Indians,  with  whom  they  intermar- 
ried and  with  whom  they  maintained  the  utmost 
friendly  and  business  relations.  From  1858  to  1860 
the  community  increased  in  numbers  and  in  the  lat- 
ter year  a  town  company  was  organized,  known  as 
the  Colona  Town  company,  whose  object  was   to 


build  a  city  on  the  banks  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre  at 
the  entrance  to  the  mountain  region.  This  com- 
pany was  officered  the  first  year  by  Enoch  W.  Ray- 
mond, president,  and  Arch  P.  Williams,  secretary. 
The  writer  has  in  his  possession  stock  certificate  No. 
3,  issued  by  that  company,  which  reads  as  follows : 

"Whole  No.  of  Share,  50  Share  No.  7  Certificate 

"No.   3— Colona   Town    Company 

"This  is  to  certify  that  Chas.  H.  Blake  is  the  owner  of 
one-tenth  of  one  original   share   in   the   Town   of   Colona, 

which  entitles  him  to lots,  described   as 

follows Subject  to  the  by-laws 

and  assessments  of  the  company. 

"No  transfer  recognized  unless .  endorsed  and  recorded 
in  the  books  of  the  Company  by  the  Secretary. 

"Colona,  Feb.   10,   1860. 

"Enoch  W.  Raymond,  President. 
"Arch  P.  Williams,  Secretary." 

The  town  grew  rapidly,  between  fifty  and  sixty 
log  dwellings  being  erected  during  that  year,  and 
it  was  the  most  important  point  for  business  north 
of  Denver.  The  first  cabin  built  in  the  new  town 
was  erected  by  the  late  John  B.  Provost.  In  1862 
Laporte  was  made  headquarters  of  the  Mountain 
division  of  the  Overland  Stage  company,  and  for 
a  time  it  flourished  like  a  green  bay  tree.  In  1861 
it  was  named  the  county  seat  of  Larimer  county 
in  the  act  passed  by  the  first  Territorial  Legislature, 
setting  off  and  creating  the  counties  of  the  terri- 
tory, and  it  aspired  to  be  the  capitol  of  the  terri- 
tory, but  that  honor  went  to  Colorado  City  for  the 
time  being.  Gardening  and  making  hay,  prospect- 
ing for  silver  and  gold,  and  hunting  were  the  prin- 
cipal occupations  of  the  inhabitants.  General  farm- 
ing had  not  then  been  entered  upon.  Game  was 
plentiful  and  easily  obtained  and,  though  flour  some- 
times commanded  $100  a  sack,  the  settlers  seldom 
suffered  for  food. 

The  first  bridge  over  the  Cache  la  Poudre  river 
was  a  toll  bridge  built  by  private  parties.  It  stood 
near  where  the  present  iron  bridge  now  stands,  and 
during  the  rush  to  California  and  Oregon  as  many 
as  2,000  wagons  crossed  on  it  in  a  single  day.  The 
toll  charged  ranged  from  $3  to  $8.  This  bridge 
was  carried  away  by  the  flood  of  1864,  and  John  B. 
Provost  rigged  up  a  ferry,  which  was  used  during 
high  water  for  several  years  and  until  the  county 
built  a  new  bridge.     In  the  early  days  the  town  was 

[165] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


a  bustling  business  and  supply  recruiting  point  for 
emigrants.  There  v/ere  four  saloons,  a  brewery,  a 
butcher  shop,  a  shoe  shop,  two  blacksmith  shops,  a 
store  and  hotel.  The  first  store  was  opened  and 
conducted  by  Jerry  Kershaw,  who  afterwards  sold 
it  to  Chamberlin  &  Glenn.  Preston  Taft,  still  a 
resident  of  Laporte,  and  the  late  A.  H.  Patterson 
clerked  in  the  store.  The  sales  during  the  busy  sea- 
son often  amounted  to  $1,000  per  day.  Everything 
kept  in  a  store  sold  for  what  we  would  now  call  a 
big  price.  Sugar,  50  cents  a 
pound ;  oysters  and  sardines,  from 
$1  to  $1.50  per  can;  corn,  18  cents 
and  20  cents  per  pound  by  the 
sack;  butter,  from  $1  to  $1.50  per 
pound,  and  everything  else  in  pro- 
portion. During  the  winter  of 
1864-65  hay  brought  $65  per  ton. 
The  brewery  was  owned  by  a  Ger- 
man named  Melanger.  The  build- 
ing was  afterwards  moved  to 
Pleasant  valley  and  was  occupied 
for  years  by  James  Shipp  and  fam- 
ily as  a  residence.  The  Western 
Union  Telegraph  opened  an  office 
in  1866,  and  the  operator  was  a 
Mr.  Mountuma. 

The    late    William    S.    Taylor 
kept  a  stage  station  at  Laporte  for 
several  years  and  had  the  pleasure 
of  entertaining  at  his  board  several 
distinguished  men,  including  Gen- 
eral   Grant,    Vice-President    Schuyler    Colfax    and 
Samuel   Bowles,   editor  of  the   Springfield,    Massa- 
chusetts,  Republican.      Horace   Greeley   stopped    in 
Laporte    over    night    in    June,    1859.     The    house 
occupied  by  Mr.  Taylor  was  moved  to  his  farm,  a 
short  distance  east  of  Laporte,  and  is  now  owned  by 
Mr.  M.  L.  Landes.     The  stage  fare  from  Laporte 
to  Denver  was  $20. 

In  1864  the  county  bought  a  small  log  building 
of  Henry  Arrison  at  a  cost  of  $150,  which  was  used 
as  a  court  house  and  county  offices.  That  build- 
ing now  forms  a  part  of  the  Preston  Taft  resi- 
dence. W.  D.  W.  and  Louis  Taft  and  H.  W. 
Chamberlin  conducted  a  dairy  in  what  is  now  Pres- 
ton Taft's  barn.  Judge  James  B.  Belford,  who 
was  afterwards  twice  a  member  of  congress  from 
Colorado,  held  court  in  Laporte  in  1866-7.  Ed. 
A.  Smith,  now  of  Loveland,  then  a  young  man,  was 
the  Overland  Stage  company's  blacksmith,  stationed 
at  Laporte.  He  shod  the  horses  and  repaired  the 
coaches  for  the  company  until  1868,  when  the  stage 

[166] 


line  was  discontinued.  Dr.  T.  M.  Smith  was  the 
first  physician  to  locate  here,  moving  to  Camp  Col- 
lins in  1864  to  serve  as  assistant  surgeon  for  the 
soldiers.  He  went  to  Virginia  in  the  early  80's  and 
died  there  a  few  years  ago  at  an  advanced  age.  The 
first  school  house  was  built  on  the  bluff  south  of 
the  river,  but  was  afterwards  moved  to  near  where 
Preston  Taft  now  lives. 

In  1863  a  company  of  the  13th  Kansas  regiment 
volunteer  infantry  was  stationed  at  Laporte  for  a 


OLD   LAPORTE   BREWERY.      BUILT   IN    1862 

short  time,  acting  as  escort  for  the  Overland  stage. 
This  detachment  of  troops  was  succeeded  by  Com- 
pany B  of  the  First  Colorado,  and  this  in  turn  by  a 
battalion  of  the  11th  Ohio  volunteer  cavalry,  com- 
manded by  Captain  Evans.  The  troops  were  camped 
on  what  is  now  known  as  the  Jos.  Ham.merly  place, 
just  west  of  Laporte.  During  the  flood  of  1864 
the  camp  ground  was  covered  with  water  and  the 
soldiers  had  to  suddenly  flee  to  higher  ground  for 
safety.  Many  of  their  tents  and  much  other  gov- 
ernment property  were  swept  away  by  the  angry 
waters  and  only  a  small  portion  of  it  was  ever  re- 
covered. In  August,  1864,  Col.  W.  O.  Collins, 
commanding  the  11th  Ohio  cavalry,  came  down 
from  Fort  Laramie  on  an  inspection  trip,  and  while 
here  decided  to  move  the  camp  to  the  site  of  the 
present  City  of  Fort  Collins,  as  is  elsewhere  noted. 
In  October  of  that  year  the  camp  was  moved  to 
the  new  site  and  given  the  name  of  Camp  Collins, 
in  honor  of  Colonel  Collins. 


HISTORY        OF        LARIMER        COUNTY,        COLORADO 


Preston  A.  Taft  came  to  Laporte  in  1865  and 
still  .resides  there,  being  the  only  one  remaining  of 
the  early  settlers,  all  the  others  having  moved  away 
or  died.  Of  those  who  settled  in  Laporte  in  1858 
it  is  not  believed  there  Is  a  single  one  living. 

Laporte  Presbyterian  Church 

This  church  was  organized '  in  1901  and  was 
served  for  several  years  by  Rev.  H.  S.  McCutcheon. 
A  church  building  was  erected  that  year  at  a  cost 


from  the  San  Luis  valley  with  his  Indian  wife, 
Marie,  whom  he  called  "John,"  five  children,  ser- 
vants, cattle  and  horses,  and  settled  in  the  Big 
Thompson  valley  about  three  miles  west  of  the 
present  thriving  City  of  Loveland.  Modena  was 
contemporary  with  Kit  Carson,  Jim  Baker  and 
other  noted  frontier  scouts,  hunters  and  trappers, 
and  had  scouted,  hunted  and  trapped  with  them  all 
over  this  western  country.  On  one  of  his  scouting 
trips  up  into  what  is  now  Wyoming  and  Montana 
in  the  early  50's,  Modena  camped  one    night  in  the 


'™!«S«fT!*P!"i 


^Awi-Cx-^, 


^^  ^^^L^i^,^ 


OLD  STAGE  STATION  AT  NAMAQUA.     BUILT  IN  1858   BY  MARIANA  MODENO 


of  $3,600  and  the  organization  has  since  received 
a  large  accession  of  members.  Rev.  J.  N.  Young 
is  the  present  pastor.  All  the  departments  of  the 
church  are  well  organized  and  doing  efficient  work. 


Namaqua 

In  the  spring  or  early  summer  of  1858,  more  than 
sixty-two  years  ago,  Mariana  Modena,  a  man  about 
fifty  years  of  age,  of  Spanish-Indian  descent,  came 


Big  Thompson  valley  and  was  so  charmed  with  the 
valley  and  its  surroundings  that  he  resolved  to  some- 
time make  it  his  home.  He  wanted  to  get  off  by 
himself,  so  that  he  could  raise  cattle  and  horses  and 
not  be  disturbed  by  neighbors.  At  the  time  he 
arrived  at  the  site  of  his  new  home,  his  family  con- 
sisted of  a  wife,  one  step-son  and  four  children  of 
his  own.  His  wife  was  a  Flathead  squaw,  whom 
he  purchased  in  the  San  Luis  valley  in  1848  of  a 
French    trapper    named    Papa,    paying    for    her    in 


[167] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


horses,  taking  a  bill  of  sale  as  evidence  of  the  trans- 
action. Modena  and  the  squaw  were  subsequently 
married  by  a  Catholic  priest.  A  child  by  Papa, 
born  shortly  after  the  marriage  of  Modena  to  Marie, 
was  named  Louis  Papa,  who  now  lives  in  Big 
Thompson  canon,  some  fifteen  miles  west  of  Love- 
land.  Four  children  were  born  to  Modena  and 
Marie,  two  of  them  dying  in  their  infancy,  the  other 
two,  Antonio  and  Lena,  reaching  maturity.  Mo- 
dena was  devoted  to  his  children  and  to  his  step- 
son, although  Antonio,  by  his  wild,  wayward  life, 
caused  him  a  great  deal  of  trouble.  He  gave  his 
children  as  good  an  education  as  could  be  obtained 
in  the  Catholic  schools  in  Denver.  Antonio  grew 
to  be  handsome,  but  a  wild,  and  reckless  man.  At 
last  his  conduct  became  so  bad  that  he  was  compelled 
to  leave  home,  and  it  is  reported  that  he  was  killed 
in  a  drunken  row  in  New  Mexico  in  1888.  Lena 
grew  to  a  maiden  of  symmetrical  figure,  handsome, 
regular  features,  large,  lustrous  eyes  and  the  Spanish 
type  of  litheness.  She  was  the  apple  of  her  father's 
eye  and  he  almost  worshipped  her.  He  provided  her 
with  the  finest  saddle  horses  he  could  find,  fancy 
saddles  and  bridles  and  a  riding  blanket  fringed 
with  tiny  silver  bells,  the  handiwork  of  the  Navajos 
of  New  Mexico,  and  she  could  ride  with  all  the  ease 
and  grace  of  a  princess.  She  died  in  1872  and  was 
buried  near  her  father's  cabin  beside  the  two  chil- 
dren who  died  in  their  infancy,  in  a  graveyard  in- 
closed by  an  adobe  wall,  with  a  Catholic  emblem 
surmounting  the  gateway.  The  wife,  Marie,  died 
in  1874  and  Modena  followed  her  in  June,  1878. 
Both  were  buried  in  the  little  graveyard  beside  their 
children. 

Modena  was  the  first  white  man  to  permanently 
locate  in  the  Big  Thompson  valley.  When  he  first 
came  he  built  a  log  cabin  for  his  family  to  live  in 
and  afterwards  erected  a  larger  stone  building  which 
he  called  his  fort.  An  engraving  of  the  group  of 
buildings  erected  by  him  appears  elsewhere  in  this 
volume.  Modena  named  his  home  Namaqua.  The 
writer  has  searched  high  and  low  for  the  origin 
and  signification  of  the  word  "Namaqua"  without 
success.  The  word  is  evidently  a  Pawnee  proper 
noun,  as  Pawnee  proper  nouns  generally  end  in 
"qua,"  but  what  it  means  translated  into  English 
no  one  of  whom  we  have  inquired  seems  to  know. 
Namaqua  was  on  the  emigrant  trail  from  the  Arkan- 
sas to  California  and  Oregon,  and  in  1 862  it  became 
a  station  on  the  Overland  stage  line.  A  postoffice, 
one  of  the  first  established  in  the  county,  was  opened 
here  with  Hiram  Tadder  as  postmaster.  Modena  or 
Mariana,  as  he  was  best  known,  kept  a  store  which 

[168] 


contained  supplies  for  emigrants,  including  frontier 
whiskey.  Salt  meats  and  flour  were  very  dear,  flour 
often  selling  as  high  as  $30  per  hundred  pounds. 
They  were  freighted  from  the  Missouri  with  ox 
teams,  and  sometimes  the  supply  got  very  low  before 
a  loaded  freight  train  arrived  from  the  East.  Dur- 
ing these  times  flour  often  soared  to  $100  per  hun- 
dred pounds. 

Indians  were  troublesome  in  the  early  days,  mak- 
ing frequent  attacks  upon  the  emigrants,  and  as 
affording  a  measure  of  protection  from  raids  by  the 
savages,  several  trains  traveled  together.  Mariana 
built  a  bridge  over  the  Big  Thompson  with  a  toll 
gate  at  each  end  and  before  a  wagon  was  allowed 
to  cross  in  either  direction  the  driver  must  pay  a 
dollar.  There  was  a  good  ford  just  below  the 
bridge,  but  there  were  times  when  the  river  was  not 
fordable  on  account  of  high  water,  and  it  was  dur- 
ing these  times  that  Mariana  reaped  a  rich  harvest 
in  tolls. 

Game  was  plentiful  when  Mariana  first  settled  at 
Namaqua — deer,  grouse  and  bear  in  the  mountains, 
antelope  on  the  plains  and  fish  in  the  streams.  Buf- 
faloes were  in  great  number  on  the  Plains  in  the 
eastern  part  of  Colorado,  but  hunting  them  was 
dangerous  on  account  of  marauding  bands  of  In- 
dians, who  stampeded  the  hunters'  horses  and  often 
killed  and  scalped  the  hunters  themselves.  But  little 
is  known  of  the  early  history  of  Mariana  and  that 
little  indefinite  and  unreliable,  but  there  is  no  doubt 
but  that  he  lead  an  adventurous  and  exciting  life 
before  he  came  to  the  Big  Thompson.  Namaqua 
postoffice  was  discontinued  several  years  ago. 


Big  Thompson  Valley 

Rising  mid  the  snow-capped  peaks  of  the  Conti- 
nental Divide,  flowing  down  through  beautiful  Estes 
Park  and  through  deep,  dark  gorges  and  canons, 
past  butting  crags  and  meadows  bespangled  with 
wild  flowers  in  their  season,  until  it  leaps  onto  the 
Plains,  we  find  the  Big  Thompson,  one  of  the  pret- 
tiest streams  in  Colorado.  Its  valley,  though  not 
as  wide  as  that  of  the  Cache  la  Poudre,  is  of  re- 
markable fertility  and  is  wholly  divided  into  farms, 
whose  productiveness  is  the  wonder  of  the  Conti- 
nent, and  which  bear  unmistakable  evidence  of 
industry  and  prosperity,  with  their  substantial  and 
attractive  farm  homes,  outbuildings,  sleek  live  stock 
and  the  latest  improved  farm  machinery. 

From  the  canon  to  the  Weld  county  line,  a  dis- 
tance of  about  thirteen  miles,  there  is  hardly  a  quar- 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


ter  section  of  waste  land,  all,  or  nearly  all  of  it  be-  , 
ing  under  a  high  state  of  cultivation  and  yearly  pro- 
ducing enormous  crops  of  hay,  grain,   fruit,  sugar ! 
beets,  potatoes  and  other  vegetables.  ' 

But  it  w^as  not  always  thus.  Fifty  years  ago  this) 
beautiful  valley,  which  now  charms  the  vision  of 
the  traveler,  was  an  uninhabited  wilderness,  save 
as  it  became  the  temporary  camping  ground  of  mi- 
gratory savages,  or  the  home  of  the  buffalo,  the 
stately  elk,  the  timid  deer  and  the  fleet-footed  ante- 
lope. Though  thousands  of  armed  soldiers — Span- 
ish and  American  troops — explorers,  trappers  and 
emigrants  had  crossed  the  valley,  slaked  their  thirst 
and  laved  their  weary  limbs  in  the  waters  of  the 
limpid  Big  Thompson  in  their  movements  from 
south  to  north  and  north  to  south,  not  a  white  man 
had  then  attempted  to  build  himself  a  permanent 
home  within  the  boundaries  of  this  beautiful,  sun- 
kissed  valley,  save  one.  A  lonely  grave  on  the 
banks  of  the  stream,  three  miles  west  of  Loveland, 
bears  witness  that  one  adventurous  young  man  had 
found  a  final  resting  place.  A  headstone  at  this 
grave  still  bears  the  inscription : 

"To  the  Mem.ory  of 
H.  L.  W.  PETERSON 

Aged  24  Years 

Was  Killed  by  Lightning 

June  13,  1854." 

Nothing  is  known  of  his  history  or  of  the  com- 
panions who  accompanied  him  on  his  fatal  trip, 
further  than  that  gained  from  the  inscription.  He 
was  probably  an  emigrant  who  left  his  eastern  home, 
lured  by  the  greed  for  gold  to  carve  out  a  fortune 
among  the  golden  sands  of  California.  The  first 
permanent  human  habitation  erected  in  the  Valley 
of  the  Big  Thompson  was  built  in  1858  by  Mariana 
Modena,  a  three-quarter  Castilian,  whose  boast  it 
was  in  after  years  that  he  was  the  first  "white  man" 
to  settle  on  the  Big  Thompson.  He  took  up  a 
squatter's  claim  to  a  tract  of  land  situated  three 
miles  up  the  stream  from  the  present  City  of  Love- 
land.  Here  he  built  his  cabin,  which  four  years 
later  became  a  stage  station  on  the  Overland  route 
from  the  Missouri  river  to  California,  and  here, 
twenty  years  later,  he  was  gathered  to  his  P'athers. 
Modena  was  merchant,  saloon  keeper  and  host, 
and  his  place  became  noted  throughout  the  West  for 
hospitality  and  good  cheer.  Modena  was  a  squaw 
man,  that  is,  his  wife  was  an  Indian  whom  Modena 
bought  of  a  Frenchman.  She  had  a  son,  Louis 
Papa,  who  is  still  living  in  a  small  park  situated 


several  miles  up  the  canon  above  his  step-father's 
old  home.  The  log  house  and  outbuildings  erected 
by  Modena  are  still  standing  as  a  monument  to  the 
memory  of  one  of  the  most  noted  frontier  characters 
of  his  day. 

In  1859  William  McGaa,  better  known  in  the 
pioneer  days  as  "Jack  Jones,"  who  was  also  a  squaw 
man,  built  a  cabin  on  the  land  later  owned  by  Ab- 
raham Rist,  and  became  Modena's  neighbor.  He 
was  the  first  real  white  man  to  settle  in  the  Big 
Thompson  valley,  and  his  son,  William,  now  of 
Pine  Ridge,  South  Dakota,  was  the  first  child  born 
in  Denver. 

In  1860  the  settlement  in  the  valley  was  greatly 
augmented  by  the  arrival  of  a  number  of  other  set- 
tlers who  filed  on  claims  and  built  homes  for  them- 
selves and  families.    Among  these  were  John  Hahn, 

Thomas    H.    Johnson,    •   Ashford,    Ed. 

Comb, Sherry,  J.  N.  Hollowell,  W   B. 

Osborn,  James  Boutwell,  W.  A.  Bean,  Jed  Done- 
fetter,  Henry  Dose,  Samuel  HafEner,  Joseph  Mark- 
ley,  Frank  Prager,  Foster  brothers,  John  Miller, 
H.  B.  Chubbuck,  W.  C.  Stover,  J.  J.  Ryan,  Adam 
Dick,  Doc  Allen  and  Ed  Clark,  and  from  that 
time  on  the  population  of  the  valley  steadily  in- 
creased until  now  it  is  one  of  the  most  densely  pop- 
ulated valleys  in  Colorado. 

There  were  many  among  the  pioneer  settlers  in 
the  Big  Thompson,  as  there  were  also  in  the  Cache 
la  Poudre  valley,  who  had  much  to  do  with  shap- 
ing the  policies  and  directing  the  destiny  of  Larimer 
county,  including  John  Hahn,  Thos.  H.  Johnson, 
William  B.  Osborn,  W.  A.  Bean,  H.  B.  Chub- 
buck  and  Lucas  Brandt,  of  the  Big  Thompson;  J. 
M.  Sherwood,  F.  W.  Sherwood,  A.  F.  Howes, 
Abner  Loomis,  James  B.  Arthur,  John  G.  Coy, 
Peter  Anderson,  Joseph  Mason,  N.  C.  Alford,  Rev- 
ilo  Loveland,  W.  C.  Stover  and  Harris  Stratton,  of 
the  Cache  la  Poudre  valley.  These  were  all  strong 
men,  intellectually  and  physically,  men  of  unblem- 
ished character,  strict  integrity  and  the  courage  of 
their  convictions.  They  possessed  the  confidence 
and  good  will  of  their  neighbors  and  all  of  them 
have  since  served  the  county  in  positions  of  honor 
and  trust  with  fidelity  and  faithfulness.  They 
were  never  found  wanting  in  any  crisis  or  tim.e  of 
stress.  They  were  a  noble  band  of  men,  made  up 
of  the  best  blood  and  brawn  t)f  the  nation — clear- 
brained,  firm-willed  and  strong  of  heart.  No  marble 
shaft  is  needed  to  commemorate  their  virtues,  for 
they  are  enshrined  in  the  hearts  of  all  who  helped 
to  subdue  the  wilderness  and  transform  it  into  law- 
abiding   and    God-fearing   communities.      Some   of 

[169] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


these  have  helped  to  make  the  laws  and  frame  the 
institutions  of  Colorado;  others  of  those  mentioned 
have  been  intrusted  with  authority  to  administer 
and  execute  the  laws  of  the  state.  All  were  com- 
monwealth builders.  No  public  scandals  arising 
from  malfeasance  in  office  or  failure  to  perfom  a 
duty  has  ever  attached  to  any  of  them.  They  were 
not  grafters;  they  were  patriots. 

.The  first  ditch  built  to  carry  water  to  bluff  lands 
was  taken  out  of  the  Big  Thompson  in  1867  and  was 


place,  which  was  called  Namaqua,  where  the  Over- 
land stage  changed  horses  and  where  there  was  a 
store,  postofKce,  blacksmith  shop  and  other  public 
conveniences.  Later  a  trading  point  and  business 
center  grew  up  at  Old  St.  Louis,  one  mile  east  of 
the  present  City  of  Loveland,  where  a  flour  mill  was 
built  in  1867. 

In  1864  the  Overland  stage  station  was  changed 
from  Mariana's  place,  or  Namaqua,  to  John  E. 
Washburn's    home,    three    miles    lower    down    the 


RAPIDS,    BIG    THOMPSON    CANON 
Pho'io  by  F.  p.   Clatwokthy 


known  as  the  "Chubbuck"  ditch.  The  scheme  at 
the  time  was  called  a  foolhardy  one  and  the  pro- 
prietors found  few  to  encourage  them  in  their  enter- 
prise, but  they  persisted  and  proved  the  faith  that 
was  in  them.  The  ditch  demonstrated  that  the  bluff 
lands  were  the  very  best  for  grain  growing  and 
general  agriculture  and  the  result  was  that  other 
and  larger  ditches  were  soon  after  constructed  to 
carry  water  to  all  the  lands  on  both  sides  of  the 
stream  for  many  miles  in  each  direction. 

For  several  years  the  business  center  of  the  Big 
Thompson  valley  in  the  early  days  was  at  Mariana's 

[170] 


creek,  where  a  postoffice  was  established  called  Big 
Thompson,  with  Mr.  Washburn  as  postmaster. 

In  the  fall  of  1877  the  Colorado  Central  Rail- 
road company  completed  its  line  of  road  from  Gol- 
den to  Cheyenne.  The  road  crosses  the  Big  Thomp- 
son about  a  mile  west  of  Old  St.  Louis,  and  a  sta- 
tion was  established  on  the  bluff  lands  north  of 
the  stream.  Here,  in  September  of  that  year,  a 
townsite  was  laid  out  and  platted  in  a  wheat  field 
on  a  farm  owned  by  the  late  David  Barnes.  It  was 
given  the  name  of  Loveland,  in  honor  of  Hon.  W. 
A.  H.  Loveland,  president  of  the  railroad  company. 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER 


COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


which  name  the  town,  now  a  city  of  between  4,000 
and  5,000  people,  still  bears.  The  town  is  beauti- 
fully located  and  occupies  a  position  that  commands 
a  fine  view  of  the  valley  up  and  down  the  stream 
and  the  mountains  to  the  west.  Many  of  the  build- 
ings erected  at  Old  St.  Louis  were  moved  to  the 
new  town,  and  before  winter  set  in  Loveland  occu- 
pied a  commanding  position  on  the  rriap,  with  its 
business  houses,  offices,  shops  and  other  public  con- 
veniences needed  for  a  thrifty  and  growing  com- 
munity. The  name  of  the  postoffice  was  changed 
from  Big  Thompson  to  Loveland,  trees  were  planted 
along  both  sides  of  the  streets,  streets  graded  and 
the  whole  town  began  to  take  on  a  healthy,  pros- 
perous growth.  At  this  time  it  numbers  among 
its  more  important  manufacturing  enterprises  a 
1,200  ton  beet  sugar  factory,  built  in  1901,  which 
turns  out  an  average  of  40,000,000  -pounds  of  gran- 
ulated sugar  annually ;  fruit  and  vegetable  canning 
factories,  flouring  mill  and  grain  elevator.  It  is 
also  the  junction  point  of  the  Colorado  &  Southern 
(formerly  the  Colorado  Central)  and  the  Great 
Western  railroads,  and  is  one  of  the  most  important 
shipping  points  in  the  state. 

The  principal  irrigating  systems  of  the  Big 
Thompson  valley  are  the  Handy,  the  Home  Supply, 
the  Louden  and  the  Greeley  and  Loveland  canals, 
and  these  furnish  water  for  domestic  uses  and  manu- 
facturing purposes  in  addition  to  a  supply  for  irri- 
gating all  the  land  lying  between,  the  Little  Thomp- 
son creek  on  the  south  and  the  divide  between 
the  Cache  la  Poudre  and  Big  Thompson  on  the 
north,  embracing  an  area  of  about  150  square  miles. 
In  1880  Loveland  had  a  population  of  600  souls. 

After  diligent  search  through  all  the  authorities 
at  command  and  consulting  many  of  the  pioneers, 
we  have  been  unable  to  trace  the  origin  of  the  names 
given  the  Big  and  Little  Thompson  streams.  The 
books  contain  no  mention  of  the  origin  and  no  one 
seems  to  know  how,  why,  nor  when  the  name  was 
bestowed  upon  these  streams.  It  is  probable,  how- 
ever, that  they  were  named  by  David  Thompson, 
an  English  engineer  and  astronomer  in  the  employ 
of  the  Northwest  Fur  company,  who,  in  1810, 
traversed  and  explored  the  country  from  the  head- 
waters of  the  Missouri  river  to  the!  headwaters  of 
the  Arkansas  in  search  of  trapping  grounds  in  the 
interest  of  the  company  he  represented.  In  1811 
he  continued  his  explorations,  and  on  July  15  th 
arrived  at  Astoria,  Oregon,  and  was  the  first  white 
man  to  explore  the  Colum.bia  river  above  the  point 
where  it  was  reached  by  Lewis  and  Clark  in  1806. 
Thompson's  name  appears  in  the  "History  of  the 


Fur  Trade  of  the  Far  West,"  by  Chittenden,  and 
he  is  the  only  Thompson  mentioned  in  the  work  as 
an  explorer.  The  streams  were  known  as  the 
1  hompson  creeks  before  Fremont  crossed  the  Plains 
in  1843  on  his  second  expedition,  as  he  mentions 
them  in  his  report  to  the  War  department.  It  is, 
therefore,  fair  and  reasonable  to  assume  that  they 
were  named  in  honor  of  the  English  scientist,  David 
Thompson. 

Trappers'  camps  were  established  by  the  North- 
west Fur  company,  later  known  as  the  Hudson  Bay 
company,  on  all  the  streams  of  Northern  Colorado 
during  the  second  decade  of  the  nineteenth  century, 
and  it  is  quite  possible  that  the  camps  on  these  two 
streams  were  known  and  designated  as  the  Big  and 
Little  Thompson  camps. 

If  we  except  the  coming  to  the  Cache  la  Poudre 
valley  in  1858  of  John  B.  Provost  and  his  party 
of  French  Canadian  trappers  and  mountaineers,  and 
the  location  on  the  Big  Thompson  the  same  year  of 
Mariana  Modena  and  his  Mexican  helpers,  the 
settlement  of  these  valleys  in  1860  by  Anglo  Saxons 
was  contemporaneous.  The  Sherwoods,  the  Ar- 
thurs, the  Davises,  G.  R.  Strauss,  Alfred  F.  Howes 
and  others  located  in  the  Cache  la  Poudre  Valley, 
and  W.  B.  Osborn,  Thos.  H.  Johnson,  John  Hahn, 
J.  N.  Hollowell,  Samuel  Hafiner  and  Joseph  Mark- 
ley  and  others  settled  in  the  Big  Thompson  valley, 
so  that  the  beginning  of  civilization  in  Larimer 
county  practically  dates  back  to  1860.  Some  of 
these  had  crossed  the  Plains  in  the  great  gold  rush 
of  1858-9  and  '60,  and  being  disappointed  in  their 
search  for  the  precious  metal,  turned  their  attention 
to  the  production  of  hay,  vegetables  and  beef  to 
supply  Denver  and  the  mining  camps  in  the  moun- 
tains. They  cam.e  north  from  Denver  and  found 
locations  suitable  for  their  purposes  in  the  valleys 
named  and  made  settlements.  Most  of  them  were 
single  men,  young  in  years,  strong  of  heart,  sturdy  of 
frame  and  ambitious.  Nearly  all  of  the  few^  who  had 
families  had  left  them  in  their  eastern  homes  to  fol- 
low on  later  when  the  husbands  and  fathers  had  built 
and  established  homes  for  them.  A  few,  very  few, 
brought  their  wives  and  children  to  share  the  dan- 
gers, hardships  and  privations  on  the  frontier  with 
them. 

That  year  nearly  all  of  the  land  along  the  margin 
of  the  streams,  from  the  mouth  of  Buckhorn  creek 
on  the  Big  Thompson  to  what  is  now  the  Weld 
county  line,  and  from  Laporte  on  the  Cache  la 
Poudre  to  the  same  line,  was  taken  up  for  hay 
farms.  The  luxuriant  grasses  that  were  found 
growing  on  the  bottom  lands  made  excellent  hay. 


[i7r] 


HISTORY    OF   LARIMER    COUNTY,    COLORADO 


a  commodity  that  was  in  great  demand  in  the  min- 
ing camps,  often  bringing  from  $100  to  $150  per 
ton.  The  hay  was  hauled  to  Central  City  and 
Black  Hawk  by  oxen  and  it  required  about  ten  days 
to  make  the  round,  trip.  The  road  was  long  and 
for  a  part  of  the  way  the  hills  were  steep  and  rough. 
A  ton  or  ton  and  a  half  of  hay  made  a  big  load  for 
four  yoke  of  oxen.  Usually  two  or  three  men  would 
make  the  trip  together,  so  they  could  help  each  other 
in  case  of  a  breakdown  or  other  trouble.  On  their 
return  they  brought  home  from  Denver  such  sup- 
plies, provisions,  clothing,  etc.,  as  were  needed  to 
last  until  another  trip  could  be  made,  and  would 
also  execute  errands  for  their  neighbors.  The  re- 
turn of  the  hay  peddlers  was  always  a  welcome 
event,  and  those  interested  gathered  at  the  cabins 
of  the  home-comers  to  get  the  news  from  the  out- 
side world  and  to  retail  the  gossip  of  the  community 
in  exchange.  The  early  day  settlers  in  the  two  val- 
leys had  practically  the  same  experiences  and  labored 
under  the  same  adverse  conditions  for  the  first  few 
years  of  their  frontier  life. 

Of  the  settlers  who  came  to  the  Big  Thompson 
in  1860,  but  few  remain.  Some  of  them  thought 
a  tract  of  land  several  miles  in  extent  was  too  small 
for  a  white  man  and  when  their  holdings  began  to 
be  restricted  by  newcomers,  they  moved  on.  The 
ranches  were  then  located  by  the  claimant  stepping 
off  a  certain  number  of  paces  along  the  stream  and 
then  drawing  an  imaginary  line  from  bluff  to  bluff 
at  each  end  of  the  measured  spaces,  and  calling  his 
all  the  land  thus  enclosed.  With  the  advent  of  the 
"Claim  Club"  squatters'  claims  were  restricted 
to  160  acres.  After  the  lands  had  been  surveyed  in 
1864,  locators  made  homestead  filings  and  most  of 
them  subsequently  proved  up  and  secured  title  from 
the  government  •  to  their  individual  tracts.  When 
the  government  survey  was  made  some  of  the 
claims  were  found  to  be  short,  while  others  con- 
tained more  acres  than  they  were  entitled  to,  one  in 
particular  having  enclosed  320  acres  for  a  quarter 
section. 

All  the  bottom  land  was  mowed  or  cultivated 
that  year  and  the  succeeding  few  years,  that  portion 
lying  nearest  the  stream  being  used  for  raising 
vegetables,  potatoes  principally.  Irrigation  was  not 
resorted  to,  onh'  the  grass  that  matured  from  rain- 
fall being  cut  and  cured  for  hay.  This  was  cut 
with  hand  scythes  and  raked  by  hand.  Mowers 
and  horse  rakes  were  unknown  on  the  Plains  in 
those  days.  The  raising  of  grain  was  not  at- 
tempted, the  settlers  depending  on  Denver  for  flour 
and    other    provisions.      There    were    often    times 

[172] 


when  bread  was  not  to  be  had  for  days  and  when 
antelope  meat  was  the  main  stay  of  life.  Flour 
was  hauled  across  the  Plains  from  the  Missouri 
river,  a  distance  of  600  miles,  with  ox  teams,  and 
this  staple  at  times  of  scarcity  in  Denver  com- 
manded fabulous  prices.  Sometimes  it  could  not 
be  obtained  at  all.  Forty  dollars  a  sack  was  the 
usual  price  for  flour  and  on  occasions  as  high  as 
$100  per  sack  was  paid  for  it.  However,  the 
pioneers  made  the  best  of  the  situation  and  en- 
joyed themselves  with  their  dances  and  public 
gatherings.  There  was  more  of  a  community  of 
interest  in  those  days  than  exists  now,  and  if  one 
had  a  supply  of  provisions  and  his  neighbor  had 
none,  a  division  was  promptly  made  so  that  the 
neighbor  should  not  go  hungry.  As  fast  as  means 
permitted  many  of  the  first  settlers  began  to  buy 
cows  and  to  accumulate  herds  of  cattle.  There 
was  a  wide  extent  of  the  finest  kind  of  pasturage 
tor  stoci;  as  all  the  bluff  lands  were  open  and  un- 
occupied and  cattle  and  horses  thrived  and  grew 
fat  on  their  rich,  nutritious  grasses. 

In  1862,  after  the  route  of  the  Overland  stage 
had  been  changed  from  the  North  Platte  to  the 
South  Platte  and  the  stages  began  making  daily 
trips  from  Denver  to  the  north  and  west,  a  post- 
office  was  established  at  Mariana's  crossing  and 
called  Namaqua,  and  James  Boutwell  was  the  first 
postmaster.  In  1864  the  route  of  the  stage  was 
changed  and  crossed  the  Big  Thompson  at  the  John 
Washburn  place,  about  a  mile  south  of  the  present 
City  of  Loveland. 

A  postoffice  called  the  Big  Thompson  was 
opened  at  this  crossing,  with  Mr.  Washburn  as 
postmaster.  The  stage  station  at  Mariana's  was 
opened  by  James  Boutwell  who  is  still  living  and 
is  a  resident  of  Denver.  Later  he  sold  the  station 
to  Ryan  &  Acker  who  conducted  it  until  the  stage 
route  was  changed  to  Washburn's  crossing.  In 
1861  the  settlers  began  to  construct  small  ditches 
through  which  to  conduct  water  from  the  stream 
to  their  gardens,  potato  patches  and  hay  fields. 
That  was  the  introduction  in  the  Big  Thompson 
valley  of  farming  by  irrigation.  Ordinarily  good 
crops  of  hay  could  be  produced  on  the  bottom  lands 
without  artificial  aid,  but  there  were  years  when  the 
rainfall  was  insufficient  and  the  tonnage  of  hay  was 
light  and  in  1861,  was  one  of  those  years.  The 
partial  failure  of  the  crop  that  year,  due  to  lack  of 
jnoisture,  is  what  stimulated  ditch  building.  The 
result  of  the  application  of  water  to  the  fields  by 
artificial  means  was  so  surprising  and  so  encourag- 
ing  that  the  settlers   formed   companies   and   com- 


HISTORY 


O  F 


LARIMER 


COUNTY, 


COLORADO 


binations  and  constructed  larger  ditches  from  which 
greater  areas  could  be  watered  and  bigger  crops 
produced.  Vegetables  of  all  kinds  were  in  good 
demand  in  Denver  and  the  mining  camps  and 
brought  high  prices,  potatoes  at  one  time  com- 
manding 12  cents  a  pound,  and  settlers  engaged 
largely  in  raising  them,  but  not  a  bushel  of  grain 
was  raised  in  the  valley  until  1865.  That  year 
William  B.  Osborn  secured  a  half  bushel  each  of 
seed  wheat  and  barley  and  sowed  the  grain  on  his 
farm.  He  cut  the  grain  with  a  cradle  and  threshed 
it  with  a  flail.  Taking  part  of  his  wheat  he  went 
to  Douty's  grist  mill  on  South  Boulder  creek  and 
had  it  made  into  flour.  Douty's  mill  was  a  prim- 
itive affair,  the  burrs  used  having  been  chiseled 
out  of  granite  found  in  the  canon. 

Mr.  Osborns  success  at  wheat  growing  stimu- 
lated others  to  engage  in  it  and  from  that  time 
on  wheat  has  been  one  of  the  staple  crops  of  the 
valley.  So  much  wheat  was  grown  in  1866-7  that 
a  mill  became  indispensible  and  in  the  fall  of  1867, 
Andrew  Douty  moved  his  mill  to  the  Big  Thomp- 
son valley  and  sat  it  up  at  a  point  on  the  stream 
about  a  mile  east  of  the  present  City  of  Loveland. 
This  was  the  first  flouring  mill  put  in  operation  in 
Larimer  county.  Mrs.  Elizabeth  Stone  and  H. 
C.  Peterson  began  the  erection  of  a  mill  at  Fort 
Collins  in  1867  but  did  not  finish  and  get  it  in 
operation  until  a  year  later. 

Douty's  mill  was  30x50  feet  ground  dimen- 
sions and  three  stories  high.  It  had  only  one  set  of 
burrs  and  could  grind  but  about  75  bushels  of  grain 
per  day.  The  mill  cost  about  $10,000  and  proved 
^  not  only  a  good  investment,  but  also  a  great  con- 
venience to  the  people  of  the  county.  About 
10,000  bushels  of  wheat  were  raised  in  the  Big 
Thompson  valley  in  1867,  and  one-half  of  it  was 
made  into  flour  at  the  White  Rock  mill  on  Boulder 
creek.  The  Big  Thompson  mill  was  operated  by 
Andrew  Douty,  George  W.  Litle  and  J.  A.  Litle, 
first  one  and  then  another  until  Mr.  Douty's  death 
in  1874.  After  the  settlement  of  the  estate  the  mill 
was  sold  to  A.  Leonard  &  Son,  who  improved 
it  and  successfully  operated  it  for  several  years. 

The  first  settlers  in  the  Big  Thompson  valley 
had  their  Indian  scares  in  the  early  days  when  they 
gathered  at  some  central  point  for  mutual  pro- 
tection, but  it  does  not  appear  that  the  savages  ever 
killed  any  white  people  on  that  stream.  The' 
Indians  swooped  down  in  the  valley  from  the  moun- 
tains now  and  then  on  horse  stealing  expeditions 
or  on  begging  trips,  but  they  never  killed  anybody 
on  their  raids,  except  in  one  instance  and  he  was 


a  Mexican.  This  was  in  the  summer  of  1864.  A 
band  of  Utes  came  down  from  North  Park  on  a 
horse  stealing  raid  and  as  they  emerged  from  the 
mountains  they  met  a  Mexican  who  was  hauling 
stone  for  Mariana.  They  surrounded  him  and 
filled  his  body  with  arrows.  His  scalp  was  hung 
on  a  Cottonwood  stump  and  the  red-skins  pro- 
ceeded on  down  the  valley  scattering  fear  and  con- 
sternation among  the  settlers.  However,  they  made 
no  attempts,  upon  the  lives  of  any  of  the  settlers, 
their  object  being  to  gather  up  and  run  o£E  as  many 
horses  as  they  could.  They  secured  several  horses 
from  Mariana  and  started  for  the  hills.  The  story 
of  their  raid  and  what  came  of  it,  as  told  by  Abner 
Loomis,  one  of  the  pursuers  of  the  band  and  who 
helped  to  recover  the  horses,  is  related  elsewhere  in 
this  book. 

At  another  time  during  the  same  year  a  band  of 
Utes  took  Mariana's  horses  and  fled  to  the  hills  in 
the  direction  of  Middle  Park.  With  a  couple  of 
friends  Mariana  pursued  them,  coming  up  with  the 
band  early  one  morning  just  as  the  Indians  were 
eating  breakfast.  Instructing  his  companions  to  be 
careful  not  to  kill  an  Indian,  but  to  keep  out  of 
sight  and  fire  at  the  ground,  Mariana  rode  toward 
the  camp  on  the  dead  run,  yelling  and  shooting  as 
his  horse  bounded  toward  them.  The  Indians  were 
taken  by  surprise  and  supposing  a  lot  of  white  men 
wer